Robert Parker loves it and the wine world is abuzz. So what's with this new 'wine access system'? By Diana Goodman | Posted Wednesday, 31-Jul-2013

A Massachusetts company this week launched a new wine-opening device that could signal an end to the frustration known by wine lovers around the globe. You open a bottle, it doesn't get finished, and within a couple of days it's vinegar. Cue Greg Lambrecht, a nuclear physicist whose business until now has been developing high-tech medical devices. As a confirmed wine buff (he has an estimated 1,500 bottles in his cellar) he was moved to take action when his wife became pregnant with their second child in 1999 and stopped drinking. "I still wanted to enjoy great glasses of wine, but didn't want to commit to whole bottles," Lambrecht says. He didn't believe that standard preservation systems worked. "Each time, once the cork was pulled, oxidation started and I was locked into that bottle."

After years of experimentation, Lambrecht believes he has come up with the answer: the Coravin Wine Access System. Made from stainless steel and aluminum, the device does not open the bottle. Instead, a thin, hollow, Teflon-coated needle pierces the cork (and foil). When the thirsty drinker lifts the bottle, the wine travels down the needle and out to a waiting glass, but no oxygen gets in. At the same time, the device injects argon into the bottle – an inert gas that displaces the wine that is taken out. When the needle is removed, the cork reseals itself, allowing the remaining wine to stay in pristine condition.

Testing time: Over the last two years, Coravin has been road-tested by a host of volunteers: wine aficionados, wineries, retail stores and restaurants – including New York's Del Posto and Eleven Madison Park. In a marketing man's dream, Robert Parker – who stresses that he has no financial interest in the company – has declared the Coravin to be a "transformational" new product for wine lovers. He calls it "a killer device.“ The wine critic's enthusiasm for the device is evident in an interview with Lambrecht on "I can't tell you how impressed I am with this – with the technology and how well it works," says Parker.