Drink your Pinot and keep it, too

Wine Preservation Pinot Noir

You know the feeling. You fancy a glass of the good stuff but don’t want to polish off the bottle or see any go to waste.

Modern technology does wonders for wine preservation. These contraptions do a fine job of preventing oxygen from ruining your favourite drop.

CORAVIN

It’s the talk of the sommelier world and the pros love to shout its praises.

This little beauty lets you pour wine by the glass without having to pull the cork. Unthinkable, but it works a treat. Coravin is fast becoming a favourite in high-end restaurants where the price of your average bottle means you don’t want to waste a millilitre. It’s about accessing the wine. A needle is inserted into the cork and once pressurised with high quality argon gas, any amount of wine can be poured. When the needle is removed, the cork remains undamaged.

You can impress your mates with this at home, but it isn’t cheap. The Coravin Model One starts at $199 and the Model Eight is $299.95 so these are gadgets for serious players. They preserve wine for months and can also be used on screw cap wines so you get decent bang for your buck. Keep your eyes peeled for the Coravin Model Eleven, due for release in September 2018. It has a new, sleek design, a colour LED display and connects to the Coravin Moments App. High tech, indeed. Capsules and needles can be purchased separately.

WINE SQUIRREL

It’s a cute name for a handy gadget. The Wine Squirrel is the brainchild of brothers Tony and Maurice Gonsalves who came up with the idea for a stylish crystal decanter to keep wine fresh after opening it. The innovative siblings developed the product with the help of Clive Solari from Sydney-based industrial design firm D3 Design (which is probably why it looks so spiffy).

The key to the product’s success is in the sealing mechanism, which provides an airtight seal and leaves the wine in an oxygen-free environment. Simply pour the wine into the decanter, insert the seal and push down until it reaches the wine. Seal the deal by turning the knob clockwise. The decanter should be stored in a cool place (ideally in the fridge) and when it’s time to serve, turn the knob anti-clockwise, remove the seal, and pour the wine. Hey Pinot presto.

This little baby works no matter how much wine is left over and can be re-opened and sealed as you drink. The quality lasts for weeks. The product is shipped from the US and the official website offers decent specials.

#WineSquirrelinthevineyard

A post shared by Wine Squirrel Decanter (@winesquirreldecanter) on

VACU VIN WINE SAVER

You’ve got to hand it to Bernd Schneider. The Dutchman came up with the idea for the Vacuum Wine Saver after the taste of spoiled wine turned his stomach. He and his brother John (an engineer) developed a device to preserve opened wine. Bernd founded Vacu Vin in 1986 and has been helping the world pour and preserve opened wine ever since.

The brand has been part of Dutch Creative Brands Group since 2017. Chances are you already have a Vacuum Wine Saver in your cupboard. They’re used in more than 85 countries across the globe and boast a swag of design awards. The vacuum pump extracts air from the opened bottle and re-seals it with a reusable rubber stopper. You’re not required to pump blind or rely on intuition. A ‘click’ sound lets you know when to stop. It is not suitable for sparkling wines but that’s not particularly a concern for Pinotphiles.

ENOMATIC

Enomatic wine serving systems is a two-bottle modular and refrigerated tasting system used by a number of wine bars around the world. It is for serious wine consumers and providers – The National Wine Centre’s Wined Bar serves 120 Australian wines using this technology. It’s like one big cellar door, minus the waste.

Two Tuscan entrepreneurs came up with the concept in 2002 and launched the technology after years of experimentation. The compact stainless steel unit is equipped with an integrated on-board argon cylinder and keeps the wine’s taste, aroma, body, and colour up to scratch for more than 21 days. Quotes on pricing are by request.

ETO WINE

This wine decanter was made possible through a Kickstarter campaign. The concept raised £55,000 (approx $100,910) in less than 32 hours after the campaign launch. The crowdfunding effort eventually hit the £1,095,316 ($2,001,071) mark. Welsh, London-based product designer Tom Cotton is behind the patented product which promises innovative sealing design, the use of specialist high-precision glass, drip-free pouring and wine preservation for at least 12 days. Time will tell.

The original Eto Wine decanter designs are available in stainless steel or copper and are available for pre-order. They start at 65 pounds and are estimated to be ready for delivery in July 2018.

‪Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! To all our amazing Indiegogo & Kickstarter backers.

A post shared by eto: (@eto_wine) on

WINESAVE

Want to play somm at home but don’t have a budget to match your taste in wine? This one’s for you. Winesave prevents oxygen from causing a train wreck in the bottle.

Basically, it dispenses high-quality, food-grade argon gas into an opened bottle. It is quick and simple to use: insert the tube into the bottle, press for one second, then replace the cap, cork, or stopper. Oxidation, what oxidation? Find them at Dan Murphy’s for $26.99 (50 applications per can).

For more serious Pinotphiles, the Winesave Pro offers up to 150 applications. It works on any type of wine, including bubbles, and any type of bottle closure (natural cork, screw cap, synthetic cork, and Zork). Both can be purchased from a local retailer or online and are a cheap, simple alternative to Coravin™.

Beautifully packaged #winesave

A post shared by Winesave (@winesavepro) on

LE CREUSET WINE PUMP

Pump, pump, baby. French cookware manufacturer Le Creuset is best known for its colourful stoneware, but also has the contents of our glass at heart.

The Le Creuset wine pump is quite literally a handful.

A small vacuum stopper is placed in a bottle’s opened top and (using a series of pumping strokes) the plastic construction removes oxygen from inside. The flavour stays fresh for an average of seven days. Stoppers come in packs of three and allow bottles to be stored horizontally without leaking. Consumer reviews for these wine pumps vary but at approximately $35 it’s worth trying.

THE VERDICT?

Peter Caldwell Vigneron at Dalrymple Vineyards and Pinot Noir expert rated the above wine preservation technologies for their ability to maintain quality for your best bottles.

Here’s what he had to say!

  1. Enomatic – serious, certainty, convenience, top of range $$$$$
  2. Coravin – portable, certainty, good storage time $$$$
  3. Wine Squirrel & ETO – these act in a similar way, they seem to store well and look great on the table $$$
  4. Winesave – this is great if used well, good for storage for a week and multiple openings $$
  5. Vacuvin & Le Creuset – these are similar and ok for the short term (2-3 days). Perfectly fine for wines that are less serious $