Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Can I use a Coravin wine-preservation device to open a bottle of Champagne?
—Sandra, Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Definitely not. The folks at Coravin say their product should only be used on still wines. Please follow their advice!
For those not familiar with the Coravin wine-preservation system, it involves inserting a hollow needle through the cork of an unopened bottle of wine; wine is siphoned out and replaced by inert argon gas, which blankets the wine inside the bottle and prevents it from prematurely oxidizing. For those not familiar with the physics of a bottle of sparkling wine, it has a lot of carbon dioxide trapped inside it—enough to account for about 70 to 90 pounds of pressure per square inch (that’s twice the pressure of a car tire), and a fly-away Champagne cork can exit the bottle at about 25 miles per hour. You don’t want to mess around with anything that involves sticking long, sharp needles into pressurized objects sealed with potentially dangerous projectiles.