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Coravin Review…and Random Red Tasting

September 10, 2013

There’s a new wine toy on the market.

This gadget appears stellar for those who can exercise restraint.

The Coravin device extracts wine from your bottle – without you having to take out the cork or even peel off the cap.

Better still, it substitutes oxygen in your wine bottle with inert argon gas.

This means that you can drink a quaff of wine from your beloved, perhaps pricey bottle, then drink from that bottle again five years down the road as though it were never opened.

Coravin is based on medical technology. The inventor, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), worked in the medical field devising surgical needles that would impart minimum damage to tissue. When his wife became pregnant and he was alone drinking wine at their home during evenings, he found himself drinking only part of a bottle, then pouring away the rest after it went bad in a day or two.

IMG_9407

Secret Device Testing and Wine Tasting Laboratory in California…

Using his background knowledge and inventive flair, he produced the Coravin device.

This is a clever and elegantly designed gadget sold in a gorgeous package.

I won’t get into details – suffice it to say that it let’s you – with ease – puncture through foil and cork with a surgical lance, extract enough wine to fill your glass, then replace the oxygen in the bottle with an inert gas to preserve its character for years.

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Professional Wine Tasters at work…

As an excuse to test it, I bought a few random bold red wines while in California and invited friends over. We practiced using Coravin, then tasted and scored various wines. I then packed away the partially empty bottles and motored up to visit others.

As for the random red sampling, were there any surprises?  Overall, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape was not only less expensive, but we thought considerably better than a more expensive Napa Cabernet, as well as a more expensive Bordeaux blend. In wine lore, we’ll refer to this tasting as the Judgment of Laguna Beach, rather than the Judgment of Paris…(the Paris event was a famous 1976 tasting in which French judges, tasting blind, chose a California red and a white as the overall winners).

Yesterday I happened on a good article about Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the International Herald Tribune (New York Times), asserting that this French Rhone Valley wine still maintains an excellent reputation for being a powerful and unique red, based on its combination of 13 varieties of grape (dominated by Grenache), stellar production climate, and soils often permeated by an unusual type of pebble.

When I motored north to visit my brother and his family, I discovered that the argon gas cylinders are not allowed to be carried, or shipped, via airplane. So before flying out of California, I left them with this toy to play with….until the next visit.

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Assortment of random reds

Producer

 

Wine

 

Year

Taster Tom

Taster Lori Jo

Taster David

Tasters  Average

Rankings (1=high, 5=low)

Price

(1=high, 5=low)

E. Guigal

Crozes-Hermitage

Syrah

2009

6.5

3.5

5.0

5.0

5

5

Ojai Vineyards Sta. Rita Hills Melville Vineyards

Syrah

2008

6.8

5.9

6.0

6.2

4

4

Domaine Grand Veneur

 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2009

8.5

8.0

8.0

8.2

1

3

Chateau D’Issan Margaux

 

Bordeaux Blend

2009

6.7

7.5

6.5

6.9

3

2

Keever Vineyards Yountville Napa Valley

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

2009

7.8

8.0

7.5

7.8

2

1

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2013 10:54 AM

    Loved this night… Great times with my amazing friend Tom ! I see you took a pic of that moon I was showing you ..Nice ! We must do it again soon ! xoxo

    Like

    • October 3, 2013 6:05 PM

      Yes – that night was a jewel. And the weather was perfect. Indeed, we’ll have to do it again soon enough!

      Like

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