Wine

Pouring wine without removing the cork

This afternoon, I was at the Brooklyn Winery in Red Hook and saw the staff using an incredibly fancy gas injection system to pour their wine.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. I've seen so many different systems to take the corks out of bottles, but never anything that is designed to leave the cork in while pouring wine.

How it works

The machine actually punctures the cork; and, much like a bicycle pump, the needle has a hole in the end of it where it sucks out wine. If any of you remember your physics, you'll know that if you suck out fluid or air from a pressurized environment, you'll actually increase the pressure. Well, this device solves for that; what it does is, it actually forces argon gas into the bottle, and the increased pressure inside the bottle pushes out the wine.

Why would you do this?

Well, wine can keep for many years in the right storage conditions, e.g. temperature and amount of light. But the main killer of wine is oxygen. As soon as you open a bottle of wine, you let in oxygen that will ruin the taste in a matter of days. So, that is to say, when you open a bottle, the wine begins its death sentence, in terms of shelf life.

What this argon system does, is it minimizes the amount of oxygen that enters the bottle; so, the shelf life is much longer. This means that previously untouchable, "expensive" bottles of wine are much more accessible for tasting. $80 bottle of wine could be sipped for much longer before the taste changed, so wineries and restaurants lose less money in wasted wine.

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