New inventions are supposed to make your life easier, right? Not always.

The Coravin is a case in point.

For those of you who may not know, Coravin is a device that preserves an unfinished bottle of wine.  A fine needle through the cork injects Argon, an inert gas, into the wine bottle. The gas replaces the wine that is poured out. No air, no oxygen, and so no degradation of the remaining wine. With Argon in the bottle, the wine can last weeks or months.

Coravin is expensive. Current prices range from $100 to 300. When we bought ours it was more like $400. The Argon gas comes in cartridges that are loaded onto the device. They deplete fast. Coravin buyers need cartridge replacements forever. It is akin to buying coffee cartridges for your Kurig. This, in the long run, is more costly than the actual device.

When I first heard of the Coravin I dismissed it. What do I need that for? I’ve never not finished a bottle of wine I opened.

But then, that’s what I said when I first heard of smart phones. I need a phone as a phone. What do I need all those other features for? Boy, was I wrong!

I received my Coravin as a Christmas gift and soon I was hooked. True, I can easily knock off a bottle of wine. But what if I want to sample two, three or more bottles in the same evening. No way I can drink that much. I’d be condemning the leftovers to certain death.

A wine friend of mine has around 30-plus Coravined bottles at any time on her kitchen counter. She is an inveterate sampler who thinks the Coravin is a wonderful invention.

My new Coravin opened new wine horizons, but it also placed me in a quandary. Unlike my friend, I am not a chronic sampler. I do my wine tastings in a winery, wine shop or wine group. If I use a Coravin, it is often on a single bottle. If I finish a bottle in one sitting, and I pour it with the Coravin one glass at a time, I have wasted the Argon canister. I could have just uncorked the damn thing.

Therein lies the Coravin quandary. I pick a bottle of wine and slide the Coravin needle into it. I pour and  I wonder , with some unease, what will happen next. Will I drink the whole bottle or leave some behind? Coravin anxiety kicks in.  

Having lived through this a few times, nowadays I often give up on the Coravin and just uncork.  If I don’t completely finish the bottle, so be it.

Still, there are occasions where the Coravin is of practical use. There are some wines with high alcohol content that I know I cannot finish. Arista Pinot Noir is one of them. It’s expensive, and I hate to waste the leftovers. I still Coravin such wines.

Another situation is the day before I am on call. Since I can’t drink while on call, I am more apt to Coravin because the unfinished leftovers will sit and wait, sometimes for days, until I am off call again. Then they are no good. Best to preserve potential leftovers with the Coravin.  

Other wine enthusiasts may have their own unique use for the Coravin. Let me know what yours is.

A final point. Notice that I have been using a trademark label, Coravin, as a verb. Amazing how rapidly a new invention can become a verb. It speaks to how durable and indispensable the device will be. Like smart phones.