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In case you’re not familiar with the Coravin, it’s a tool that allows wine professionals to extract wine from a bottle without breaking its seal or removing the cork. The device itself is a high-tech syringe that’s inserted into the bottle through the cork. Because it doesn’t allow any air to enter the bottle, the fitness of the remaining wine is not compromised.
The Coravin was launched in July 2013 (click here for the company’s press release announcing the launch) and since that time, it’s become immensely popular among wine professionals across the U.S.
On June 3, subscribers to the Coravin email newsletter received the following message:
“Dear Coravin Customers… it has come to our attention that, in certain circumstances, wine bottles can burst when used with the Coravin System, presenting a risk of lacerations. We believe the likelihood of this occurrence is very rare since wine bottles are designed to withstand significantly greater pressure than the low pressure the Coravin System places into the bottle. Nevertheless, Coravin has now received seven reports of bottles bursting including one report of a laceration.”
The story was immediately reported by myriad English-language and foreign blogs, notably by the popular wine search engine, WineSearcher.
In the title of the post, “Safety Warning Over Coravin’s ‘Killer Device’,” the editors of WineSearcher quote the noted wine writer, Robert Parker, Jr., out of context.
In his July, 2013 review, he wrote in praise of the new device: “Coravin is the most transformational and exciting new product for wine lovers that has been developed/invented in the last 30+ years, this is a killer device.”
The Coravin June 3 announcement has polarized the trade.
“Always hated these stupid things,” wrote a prominent sommelier in a message e-list subscribers.