The eponymous wine preservation system made by Coravin has been transformative in the wine world, allowing you to extract wine from any bottle sealed with a cork without having to open the bottle or expose it to air. One of its few flaws, however, is that it doesn’t work with sparkling wines. In fact, piercing a champagne cork with Coravin’s needle would likely be catastrophic.
Coravin has finally remedied this issue, but fans of fizz will need to buy a whole new device that’s designed just for preserving sparkling wines. It will also mean mastering yet another wine gadget—the Coravin Sparkling—and as Coravin fans likely know, the company’s products aren’t the most intuitive devices to use.
To that end, the Quick Start Guide for the Coravin Sparkling is a solid five pages of text, and users are well advised to read every word of it and maybe watch a video on how the thing works. Like the original Coravin, the Sparkling is designed to insert gas into a bottle, but the mechanics of the process are entirely different.
Step one: Open the bottle. This may be anathema to Coravin users who can drink an entire bottle of wine without ever removing the cork, but it’s a necessity this time around. There’s just no other way to get to the juice inside unless the bottle is breached.
Step two: Drink all you want.
Step three: Here’s where you’ll need to study up. While the beauty of Coravin is that it’s self-contained, Coravin Sparkling requires a bit more gear. The secret of Coravin Sparkling is found in its custom stopper, a bulky cylinder that clips onto the lip of the bottle. You’ll need to use some force to get the stopper attached; a locking handle slides down to ensure a solid seal, keeping air where it is supposed to be. Next, enter the Coravin Sparkling Charger, a lightsaber-looking device that is loaded up with compressed CO2, much like the original Coravin’s argon canisters. Press the Charger down on the top of the stopper and it dispenses CO2 directly into the bottle through a one-way valve. A small indicator (mechanical, like a tire pressure meter) changes from red to green when you’ve hit the appropriate level of pressure inside the bottle. Release the Charger and you’re done. Your bottle is now re-pressurized and can be stored for two to four weeks, depending on which page on the Coravin website you read, preferably in the refrigerator and on its side (a neat trick, as most aftermarket stoppers will leak if stored sideways).