Coravin Wine Dispensing System – 5 things I’ve learnt about it

Having used the Coravin wine system for a few weeks now, I have to say that it has given me a new excitement about wine – this is truly a game changer. There are a few things which I have learnt about this system which I would like to share with you. In particular, I have thought on how to get the most out of this system, and will be sharing my thoughts about this.

Every time I use the Coravin system, I am impressed by all the components of this system which work together to access your wine without needing to uncork the bottle: from the Teflon-coated needle which can pierce the cork time and time again to access the wine, the argon capsules which injects this inert gas into the bottle through the needle to build up a pressure which then forces the wine out of that same needle, through the head of the system and its metal spout into the wine glass.

Below are the 5 things which I have learnt about this system.

1) Coravin Classic Base stand – The Coravin wine system does require a stand to enable it to be accessible while reducing the risk of dropping it on the floor. After my first use of the Coravin I placed it in its black storage bag and put it into the cupboard where I keep the wine glasses, and it promptly slipped out of my cupboard onto the floor with a thud. Fortunately it is well made and did not sustain any damage. But it meant the first accessory I bought was the Classic base to hold my Coravin wine system. I have not dropped it since.

Coravin system placed on its Classic base

2) Purging of air from needle – When watching the videos of Greg Lambert (maker of the Coravin wine system) using his creation to dispense wine, he would tend to purge the needle of air with a short burst of argon. But some of the videos on their website show users not doing this, perhaps because they do not intend to drink their wine over years. As I intend to taste my wine over many years, I need to ensure that I follow the advice to purge away the air in the needle before accessing it. The first time I used the Coravin to pour wine, I did purge the needle of argon before accessing the first bottle but forgot to do this for the second bottle. Hence I have made a reminder for myself to do this each time I access the wine – using a label on the Classic base.

Reminder to purge the needle before plunging the needle into the cork

3) Accessing vintage red wine with sediment – As I intend to use this system mainly for dispensing older red wine which will have sediment, having it stood upright and tilting it until the head side is down to dispense wine will likely cause some sediment to get into the wine glass. Hence I needed a way to hold the wine bottle so I am less likely to disturb the sediment, and preferably will allow me to pour the wine quite steadily as well. As I tend to use the Riedel Magnum wine glass, I calculated that I needed a box at least 24cm tall to sit my wine bottle holder (bought on Amazon.co.uk for £7.99) on so it could pour wine into my glass with ease; the wooden box I used in the photo below was 29cm tall.

Cullen Diana Madeline in wine bottle holder – slightly horizontal to reduce agitation of sediment

In the picture below, the wine bottle was not opened so I had to remove the needle so I could simulate how the Coravin system  would look on a bottle of wine placed in my wine bottle holder; don’t worry, I did not piece the Stelvin closure with the needle. The wine bottle holder will even roll forwards to aid stability when pouring out the wine into the wine glass – less risk of dispensing sediment. As you can see, the box could do with being a few cm shorter.

Enough clearance to rock the wine to dispense it into the Riedel Magnum glass

Looking around on Argos, there is actually a nice 8-bottle wine fridge from Russell Hobbs which is the right height (25cm) to place my wine bottle holder on for pouring wine with the Coravin Wine system, while doubling as storage for 8 bottles of wine at the correct serving temperature (8 – 18 degrees Celsius) – will go well with the Coravin wine system. Cost £84.99 – it is well priced and looks good – it will fit in nicely in a modern kitchen. I would buy this but currently I do not have space in my kitchen to put it.

Russell Hobbs 8-bottle wine fridge (photo by Argos)

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