The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a recall to repair for Coravin, the wine-accessing system that allows users to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork. The recall comes after Coravin reported incidents of wine bottle ruptures caused by the device to the CPSC on May 28.
Coravin’s corrective-action plan, now approved by the CPSC, requires the company to send a remedy package, which includes a neoprene sleeve, to the approximately 40,000 current owners of the device. Sales of new devices will resume once all current users have received their remedy kits, which Coravin founder and chairman Greg Lambrecht estimates will take about two weeks.
“It was faster than I thought it was going to be,” said Lambrecht of the CPSC’s approval of the corrective-action plan. “In my mind, it’s tremendously great news. People can hold on to their Coravins.”
When Coravin issued its safety warning and halted sales in May, it reported seven incidents of Coravin-caused bottle ruptures—six in which the bottle broke into two pieces, and one in which the bottle broke into four pieces and injured the user. “After we made the announcement, we started to get some additional reports,” Lambrecht told Wine Spectator. Two other customers cited instances of rupture similar to those already reported; Lambrecht said these customers had not come forward previously because they understood that the bottles were cracked or damaged before using Coravin. The CPSC’s report also counts four incidents of leaking through cracks. In these cases, Lambrecht said, “the bottle was still fully intact, but when they were pressurizing, the wine bottle was leaking.” Once the Coravin was removed from the bottle, leaking apparently stopped.
Lambrecht maintains that the risk of a bottle breaking as a result of the Coravin, which exerts only 22 to 26 pounds of pressure per square inch, is very low. “It’s a rare event,” he said, and now the recall to repair “makes the event not dangerous.” The remedy package, which the company began shipping June 25, contains updated instructions, a warning label to adhere to the device and a neoprene sleeve, which users should put on any wine bottle that will be accessed by the Coravin. The sleeve, Lambrecht said, will hold any breakage. At this time, only Coravin-sourced neoprene sleeves are approved by the CPSC; in the future, Lambrecht hopes to have other brands of sleeves approved, as well as sleeves that fit every size of wine bottle.
“Look for cracks and chips [in the bottle] first,” urged Lambrecht. “Don’t use the Coravin if you find them. And use the Coravin sleeve on everything.”
The remedy kits are being sent to all addresses to which Coravin devices have been shipped; others are encouraged to contact Coravin Systems via phone, at (844) 267-2846, or at Coravin.com/sleeve-request.