Coravin 1000 Wine Access System

A highly refined little machine that extracts wine without removing the cork

The problem with buying good wine for everyday drinking is that, particularly on a school night, I don’t necessarily want more than a glass or two.

This apparently low-tech product is, in reality, a highly refined and engineered little machine. It was designed by an inventor of medical devices, whose wife was pregnant at the time and not drinking. Its basis is a long hypodermic needle that sinks into a cork (though not a plastic one nor, obviously, a screw top) and allows you to access wine without opening the bottle. As wine streams slowly (but not agonisingly so) into your glass, a mini-cylinder (“capsule”) of inert argon gas fills the vacuum left in the bottle. The cork then reseals, so the remaining wine never goes bad. I made a decent bottle last five nights this way without the remotest degradation to the wine.

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The cylinders aren’t cheap, at £172 for 24 – and it’s possible to be a bit heavy on the gas until you get the hang of it (I used a cylinder for just one bottle over those five nights) – but Coravin’s website offers handy tips on how to economise on the gas.

Read about 67 Pall Mall – a groundbreaking wine club that uses Coravin to offer fine wines by the glass

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