Today we put two significant innovations in the modern wine world up against one another: The Coravin and Kuvée wine preservation systems.
With the outrageously fast rate at which the technological world is advancing, it’s hard to be completely up to date at all times. Cue this blog post about something which we actually care about quite a lot: wine preservation systems. These are basically systems which allow you to drink your wines without them spoiling because of the oxygen that they are exposed to once opened.
Coravin is a system whereby a medical grade needle is inserted into the cork of a bottle of wine, from which it can then be poured from and then re-sealed. The needle is so small that the corks natural elasticity forces the hole closed before any oxygen can enter the bottle. The secret to this system is Argon gas, which is pumped into the bottle as you pour, replacing the empty space created by the amount of wine leaving the bottle. The Coravin wine system will however set you back $299 (about R4,500) and you will need to regularly replace the canisters of Argon gas (you get about 15 glasses per canister). Replacement canisters average about R150 per canister. In using this system, your wine will stay as fresh as if kept sealed in your cellar, and it has been tested on a wine poured five years previously, and no detectable changes were made (aside from those which were expected to be had in five years of bottle aging).
Coravin has been the extremely small industry leader for a few years now, but it seems that a rival system has begun to encroach on the market; this one called Kuvée which will set you back $199 (R3,000) for the unit that houses the selected bottles. You then purchase your favourite bottle (from the select few who have thus far partnered with Kuvée) and slide that into the housing unit in order to start serving. The system can keep the bottle fresh for up to 30 days after opening (though 21 days sounds like the furthest testers have been happy to go). You can view the label, wine story, glasses left, the temperature of the wine being poured and even order another bottle from the touch screen located on the front of the smart bottle cover.
We personally prefer the idea of the Coravin, because of its ability to be used with any wine (aside from sparkling) and at Great Domaines we can see a definite use for it with the Burgundies that we import. But until we can see a viable way to import these from the USA (there are problems with pressurised canisters of gas being imported across borders) we will have to be willing to settle for the good old Vacu Vin.
Watch the product video for the Coravin Model Two:
Watch the product video for the Kuvée here: