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Safety Warning Over Coravin's "Killer Device"

Coravin customers are being advised not to use their device until a "remedy package" arrives
© Coravin | Coravin customers are being advised not to use their device until a "remedy package" arrives
Sales of a tool that allows users to pour wine without pulling the cork stop amid safety concerns.

It was called a “killer device” by Robert Parker but the gadget that allows wine lovers to drink wine from a bottle without opening has had to issue a safety notice after complaints of bottles bursting.

“It has come to our attention that, in certain circumstances, wine bottles can burst when used with the Coravin system, presenting a risk of lacerations,” the company said in an email sent out to Coravin customers, which was later posted on It states that the company has “received seven reports of bottles bursting including one report of a laceration.”

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The company has stopped selling and shipping its devices and has advised customers to stop using Coravin until a “remedy package” has been sent to them. The remedy, it explains, is a neoprene bottle sleeve.

Its website provides a “Proper Use and Important Safeguards” document, advising customers to inspect bottles for flaws, not to use the device on bottles that are an irregular shape or hand blown, nor on bottles that are larger than 750ml.

It is hoped that “disruption will be over in July”.

Since launching, the Coravin Wine Access System has won the 2014 Innovation of the Year Award from French wine publication La Revue du Vin de France and was awarded the highest accolade – a gold medal – at the Edison Awards.

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  • Comments

    Richard wrote:
    04-Jul-2014 at 18:44:58 (GMT)

    David, Exactly it is not safe to pressurize 1 ATM bottles to just below 2 ATM. Just below 2 atm is way TOO much and still wine bottles designed for 1 ATM will explode . What is the back up when this low cost regulator malfunctions ? What happens when the high likelihood of a cork or sediment blockage occurs and the pressure finds equilibrium with the pressure of the cartridge which is much higher than 2 ATM depending upon how full the cartridge is. Lastly, when a busy bartender accidentally needles themselves , how much argon gas will be injected into them at 24 psi ? What is likely to happen to them if they inject multiple cubic centimeters of argon into their blood stream ? Surely these 2 risks alone are enough.

  • David Glasser wrote:
    17-Jun-2014 at 10:24:46 (GMT)

    Richard, the Coravin has a regulator that limits pressure to 24 +/- 2 PSI according to Greg Lambrecht. That's less than 2 Atm.

  • Richard wrote:
    14-Jun-2014 at 20:47:52 (GMT)

    I am astounded that so many people who are known for their attention to detail ( enthusiasts) are so easily distracted by the sizzle and hype around the operationally flawed device. This promotion of this device ( known as the wine mosquito in the trade) is one of the best case of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' that I have seen in this industry for many a year. The medical technique of 'needle aspiration' has been been around for years, and is practiced by skilled highly trained medical professionals. To apply this thinking to accessing a bottle of wine, is no doubt clever, but the execution is so lacking in so many obvious ways that to suggest it makes sense for commercial use is just plain negligence . Sure it is a neat gadget , but apply a modicum of good old fashioned common sense and you immediately have to conclude that the value of this product is low, and the risks of inconsistency and operator error are high. Of the many obvious operational pitfalls there are 2 that scream out: The idea of super atmospherically pressurizing a bottle not designed to be pressurized without ANY degree of pressure control is just plain wrong from a safety point of view and should preclude it from being used in a restaurant setting. It is an accident waiting to happen, in the privacy of your own home, go for it at your risk only, but you should be adequately warned. However the most dangerous part of this device is the most obvious, the very high likely-hood of needle aspirating yourself, with a result that will take more than a bandaid to fix. In the privacy of your home where you have all the time in the world, perhaps there is an attraction to safely manipulating this gadget with all the precautions necessary, but in a busy commercial setting, surely not. The good news is that there are commercial grade precision preservation systems that are proven to do the job of preserving open bottles of wine extremely effectively for wine-by-the-glass programs, so there is no need to take any risks with this device in the hospitality trade.

  • Hank wrote:
    08-Jun-2014 at 18:15:36 (GMT)

    Nothing is perfect or without risk. As for Mr. Joe's "wimpy" comment below, who's more wimpy, the person who risks an exploding bottle or the mind-numbing guzzler?

  • Wine Goon wrote:
    05-Jun-2014 at 13:35:54 (GMT)

    I love the luddites commenting on this thread. It's called an invention. As for the waiter's corkscrew, ask how many times a bottle has been chipped, or broken, and shattered across the floor because someone didn't know how to use it.

  • Nicolas wrote:
    04-Jun-2014 at 14:27:23 (GMT)

    Use a Stelvin screw cap, it's more safety !!! Note that the risk of counterfeit is very big with Coravin, if you can empty the bottle of the good wine, you can fill it easily with an other poor wine with the same way

  • robert mills wrote:
    04-Jun-2014 at 03:47:01 (GMT)

    Keep it simple. Use the old reliable waiter's corkscrew!

  • The Wine Hotel wrote:
    03-Jun-2014 at 22:25:56 (GMT)

    There is no science to substantiate claims. Apparently, there was no safety testing either.

  • Douglas Adams wrote:
    03-Jun-2014 at 18:16:23 (GMT)

    "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."

  • Frank wrote:
    03-Jun-2014 at 18:06:36 (GMT)

    From a retailer perspective its not worth the risk of injury to self or guest to maximize shelf life of a premium bottle.

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