The Great Coravin Test, Part 4: Final Thoughts (For Now)

26 08 2015
No Girls Grenache by the glass?  Don't mind if I do!

No Girls Grenache by the glass? Don’t mind if I do!

The sun has shone a little less brightly this week (and not just due to wildfire smoke blocking out the sky) – I had to return my borrowed Coravin, leaving an empty spot on my counter and a needle-sized hole in my heart.  Apart from testing out the device on the three bottles of wine the agent provided to me (adventures catalogued in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this post miniseries), I also went to town last week on a few bottles from my cellar, including a couple of the pricy variety in case you were wondering about my level of Coravin confidence.  Most importantly, I re-accessed the 2012 Tabali Pinot Noir from Chile that acted so strangely I last time I Coravinned my bottle samples just to make sure that all was still well, and it was fresh as a daisy and exactly how I remembered it on first opening, confirming that the Coravin’s preservation record remained fully intact.

I thought I’d end my Coravin saga with a few closing thoughts on the pros and cons of scooping the device for yourself and on whether the amazing features of this wine access wonder-machine justifies its hefty $400ish price tag, particularly for individual wine lovers.  First, the most obvious pro:  there is nothing like this anywhere.  It is literally in a class of its own in the wine preservation game, to the point where it’s almost not fair to call it a preservation device at all:  you don’t have to worry about preserving the wine when you never expose it to the elements in the first place.  You’re not using it to stave off inevitable oxygen decay for a few days or a couple weeks; you’re using it to stop the oxygen time clock from even starting, so that you can drink a bottle from your cellar a glass at a time over any length of time that you want, even years.  That’s just mind-blowing.  Even after using the thing for a month, it’s hard to wrap my head around just how much of a game-changer it is. Read the rest of this entry »

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Calgary Wine Life: Value Wine Uncorked! (by Shelley Boettcher)

17 12 2012

[Cross-posted at www.calgaryisawesome.com.  This book was provided as a sample for review purposes.]

Uncorked2013COVERYou almost certainly don’t need me to remind you that it’s December 17th.  By some true Christmas miracle, I managed to finish both my shopping AND my wrapping this past weekend, easily setting a new XMas Efficiency Standard for myself.  But if you happen to be using the eight days between now and the 25th to scramble madly around looking for last-minute gifts, fear not, because I can help you with two simple words:  buy wine.  Shopping = finished.  Everybody likes receiving a gift they can drink, and even if they aren’t sure about the wine you pick out on the first sip, by the fifth glass I guarantee they’ll be all over it.  Alternatively, if you don’t quite feel up to the pressure of picking out that perfect bottle for the people you love, you can do the next best thing and buy them a book that tells them what that perfect bottle might be.  Shelley Boettcher’s slightly pre-emptive 2013 edition of Uncorked! is one such book that is focused on finding that rarest of beasts:  good cheap wine.  All of its recommendations clock in at $25 or less retail.  It is also the only such wine guide that I have seen which is geared entirely to the Alberta market instead of to American or European audiences, each of whom have a remarkably different selection of vino to choose from than we do here.  If you live in the province, you should be able to find at least some of these wines at a shop near you; if you live in Calgary or Edmonton, you should have access to almost all of them. Read the rest of this entry »








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