Take a deep breath. Okay, good. Now imagine that the second you did that, you initiated the countdown to your imminent demise. Four, maybe five days tops is all you’ve got left. Pretty scary, huh? Well, now you know how a bottle of fine Burgundy feels when some sadistic sommelier yanks its cork and resigns its fate to its unrelenting archenemy, oxygen.
When the Coravin “wine preservation opener” was introduced in 2013, it was hailed as the solution to a problem that had bedeviled oenophiles for time immemorial. Suddenly, with the help of this miracle device that looked like a cross between a pistol-grip drill and a microscope, it was possible to extract valuable vino without opening the bottle while leaving the remaining wine protected from oxidation for months, even years. Coravin triggered a sea change in by-the-glass programs at fine-dining establishments and made the dream of sampling from high-end cellar stashes a reality. They did it all with a gas—argon, the inert element that replaces those pilfered pours.
And that ingenious invention just keeps on getting smarter. The Coravin Model Eleven ($999), unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, features a color LED display and connects via Bluetooth to an app that makes it easier to monitor argon gas usage and battery life. The app, bearing the rather unfortunate name Moments, offers a wealth of information on the essentials of each wine. It also uses algorithms to conjure recommendations for everything from food pairings to what wines might best complement your favorite movie or song. A photo-capture feature enables users to add wines to their virtual cellar with the press of a button—something that is sure to impress your imaginary friends at virtual tastings.
The Coravin Model Eleven and the Moments app will be available in September.