Do wine-preservation devices like Coravin actually work?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Do wine-preservation devices like Coravin actually work?

—Thomas, Sandwich, Mass.

Dear Thomas,

The Coravin wine-preservation and serving system was introduced in 2013, and it’s been a game-changer in the world of wine. The system lets you pour wine from a bottle without removing the cork, with the combination of a hollow needle and inert gas to preserve what’s left in the bottle.

Not only does Coravin solve the “I don’t think we’re going to finish this entire bottle tonight” dilemma (but you have to decide to use it before you pull the cork), it allows wine lovers to check in on wines aging in their cellars. It’s also transformed many wine-by-the-glass programs in restaurants. Restaurants can now offer pours of rare and expensive wines without worrying about the remaining wine getting oxidized. I have happily ordered Coravin pours. I’m also thrilled that they’ve developed a system for screwcap wines.

The problem with Coravin is that the systems can be expensive. They start at about $200 and go up to $800. Add in replacement needles and gas capsules and it can be quite an investment.

I’m not a huge fan of other gadgets and gizmos that purport to preserve wines (with the exception of hinged sparkling wine stoppers, which I love). When I do want to save leftover wine from an already-opened bottle, I recommend pouring it into a smaller non-reactive container, like a 375ml half-bottle. Check out our helpful video below!

—Dr. Vinny

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