This $300 Wine Tool Has Been Causing Rare Bottle Explosions
What happens when you invest in a very pricey vintage bottle of wine, but have no one to split it with? You’re left either waiting for a big event or accepting that some of the bottle may go bad before you can finish it. Wine enthusiasts who boast pricey bottles in their personal collections are obviously not ok with the second. Coravin, a $300 wine tool, proposed a solution to this problem, but the trendy bar accessory isn’t working quite as planned.
The tech tool, released in July 2013, punctures through wine corks with a slim, hollow needle, allowing wine collectors to enjoy one glass of a pricey bottle without wasting the rest. After a glass is poured, Coravin simply replaces that space in the bottle with argon, an inert gas that prevents the wine from spoiling. It’s an elegant solution to the problem, if it works correctly.
In some bottles, the argon gas exerts too much pressure on the interior of the bottle, causing it to burst. The company halted sales of the device after reporting seven incidences of wine bottle explosions to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to the Huffington Post, in one case, the explosion caused a bottle shard to cut a person’s lip and chip one of their teeth. Though the company has been unable to duplicate the accident results in testing, they recalled the system.
With over 40,000 systems sold, Coravin isn’t deterred by the setback. In a press release on the accidents, the company expressed hope that within 30 days replacement packages would be sent to their customers. Wine enthusiasts may be sipping their rare bottles again in no time.