I’ve been doing magic tricks since the day I started drinking alone four months ago.
I’m not talking about slight of hand card tricks or rabbits jumping out of top hats. I mean pouring myself a glass or two of wine at a time without pulling the cork out, and then storing it indefinitely in my fridge without compromising taste or spoiling. But I can’t take all the credit—Coravin, a fancy wine gadget, is doing it for me.
I was first introduced to Coravin at a demonstration event and wine tasting, where I watched as it was clamped onto a bottle and its thin, hollow needle pierced through a cork of a beautiful 2013 German Riesling. With a push of a button, wine came pouring into a glass, and after the needle was removed, the cork resealed from the inside, and I could turn the bottle fully upside-down without a drop spilling. Mind. Blown.
After taking the device home, I drank a glass of wine from the same bottle once a month. It didn’t spill in my fridge, and tasted as crisp, juicy, slightly sweet, and refreshing on April 25, May 22, June 19, July 14, and August 8. In this time, I also opened a bottle of rosé (Hampton Water, Jon Bon Jovi’s wine, which was surprisingly delightful) during this time and could switch off between bottles depending on my mood, giddy with excitement every time I took my first sip and had it taste as perfect as the previous month’s glass.
The Coravin isn’t some sort of sorcery—it’s science. The company’s founder, Greg Lambrecht, is a medical device inventor who created the wine preservation system out of necessity. When his wife was pregnant, he wanted to enjoy a single glass of wine without the bottle going bad. It took a lot of experimentation, but he was able to create a device that could pierce the cork just enough to inject a hit of Argon gas inside to pressurize the bottle and siphon as much wine out as you want through the hollow needle. Once you pull it out, the cork reseals since the hole is so small, and you can store any natural cork bottle for months or even years. Coravin did a blind taste test of bottles with Napa winemakers after three years, and they couldn’t distinguish a difference or diminishment in flavor. If you have a screw-top bottle, you can buy a reusable accessory that twists on to preserve the wine for up to three months, which I do with sake, sherry, and other wines that I cook with. (It's reusable up to 50 times!)
You’re probably wondering how much it costs, and I’ll be honest, it isn’t cheap. Coravin devices start at $200for the Model One basic unit and go up to $800 for fancy automatic-pouring, Bluetooth-enabled units with multiple needles to use with different bottles of wine. (You probably don’t need that unless you collect rare bottles or are a wine obsessive.) Each gas capsule can pour up to 15 glasses of wine, and refills are only about $9 each, and I still haven’t even used up one capsule yet in my mid-range rose gold Coravin Model Two Elite Pro. But for the luxury of drinking a glass of wine after a long day and knowing I’ll never dump a rancid bottle down the drain is worth it to me. As a bonus, when you have friends over and use it, it’s built-in entertainment. Soon they’ll believe in magic too.