Manufacturers of wine gadgets often claim that their product will improve your wine drinking experience. Most turn out to be nothing more than gimmicks. But a few months ago I went to a demonstration of the Coravin Wine Access System and was very impressed. It allows users to pour and enjoy wine from a bottle without pulling the cork!
Greg Lambrecht, the inventor and founder of the company, demonstrated how the Coravin worked. A thin hollow needle is passed through the foil and cork to access the wine. Then the bottle is filled with argon, an inert gas. The pressurized argon pushes the wine through the needle so it flows into your glass without permitting any oxygen to enter the bottle. Once the needle is removed, the cork naturally seals itself. The wine remaining in the bottle continues to evolve naturally. Five ounces of wine can be removed at one time.
Greg turned the bottle over but no wine seeped out. He had a bottle of Vietti Barolo “Castiglione” 2008 and had written on the label the date when wine was first removed with the Coravin–it was over a year ago. I know the Vietti wines and this was showing very well with no signs of age despite the missing wine. Greg did the same with a white wine with the same results. Greg said restaurants could use the Coravin for their wine by-the-glass program and retail stores for wine tasting. For home use, you could drink a glass of white with one course and a glass of red with another. It is also useful for older wines with corks that are difficult to remove
Felidia Restaurant has a special Coravin by-the-glass list of upscale wines. The people that I know that have the Coravin are very happy with it. Hoping I will get one for Christmas! The Coravin cost $299 and the Coravin Capsule three-pack is $29.95 www.coravin.com and www.coravin.com/tec for a video.
For those who enjoy older wines and want to ensure easy cork removal, there is also the Durand. It is intended to remove only older fragile corks from bottles with an inside neck opening of approximately 3/4 inch. Basically, the Durand is a combination corkscrew and Ah-so. $125 www.thedurand.com
Friends of Wine: In Vino Veritas by Michael Belardo. This is a photo essay of people in the wine business by a gifted photographer who is also in the wine business. There is a great picture of me sitting in the cellar of the legendary Bottega del Vino in Verona. www.Amazon.com
Beyond Barolo and Brunello: Italy’s Most Distinctive Wines by Tom Hyland. The book is divided by region and there are descriptions of 550 wines from more than 475 producers. Also available on Kindle. www.Amazon.com
Here are a few wine gift ideas. Since all of these wines will age, the prices of the older vintages will be higher.
Giulio Ferrari Riserva Del Fondatore, single vineyard, Methodo Classico. 100% Chardonnay $95
Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo 100% Trebbiano – Edorardo Valentini (Abruzzo) $95
Chablis Grand Cru “Les Clos,” 100% Chardonnay. Rene & Vincent Dauvissant (Chablis) $165
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva 100% Verdicchio. Aged in large oak barrels (botti) — Villa Bucci (Marche) $ 47
Etna Bianco Superiore “Pietramarino” 100% Carricante –Benanti (Sicily) $48
Montepulicano d’Abruzzo, 100% Montepuliciano – Emidio Pepe (Abruzzo) $85 Faro, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello, Cappucio, Acitana and Jacchè – Palari (Sicily) $85
Barbaresco “Ovello” 100% Nebbiolo – Produttori del Barbaresco (Piedmont) $57
Faro, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello, Cappucio, Acitana and Jacchè – Palari (Sicily) $85
Barolo “Vigna Elena” 100% Rosè a sub-variety ofNebbiolo – Cogno (Piedmont) $85
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 70% Corvina Veronese and 30% Rondinella – Bertani (Veneto) $88