Coravin Issues Warning About Exploding Wine Bottles

The Massachusetts-based company is halting sales of its wine extraction device.

Art courtesy of Shutterstock.

“Shattering bottle on white” image via Shutterstock.

The company behind Coravin—the wine preservation and extraction system that uses argon gas in lieu of popping a cork— issued a statement on June 2, urging all commercial retailers to cease selling its product due to bursting wine bottles and the ensuant “risk of lacerations.” The Massachusetts-based company and its founder and inventor, Greg Lambrecht, issued the advisory after receiving seven reports of bottles rupturing while using the Coravin device.

Several area restaurants and retailers have been advocates of the Coravin system, including Clio, Bistro Du Midi, Belly Wine Bar, and both Urban Grape locations. T.J. Douglas, owner of the Urban Grape, says he received an email from Coravin, instructing him to discontinue using the product until the company issues him a “Coravin System Inventory Remedy Package,” which includes a neoprene sleeve that fits around the base of any wine bottle.

“I don’t know the science behind what’s happening, but my assumption is that customers are injecting more argon into the bottle than the glass can withstand,” Douglas says. “The instructions, which come with diagrams, are very explicit. I’ve used this thing probably 150 times. I use it at home and with clients at the both stores and I’ve never had any issues. I still think it’s an amazing product and as soon as we get the okay from Coravin, we’re going to go back to using it.”

Via Twitter today, the company said only 1 in 78,000 bottles are at risk of rupturing. Coravin sent out an initial warning in February, but decided to take more dramatic action this week. Below is the notice sent out to all of its customers.

 

Important Safety Notice

Dear Coravin Business Partners,

We hope that you enjoy using your Coravin™ Wine Access System. This communication follows up on our notification of February 2014 about updates to the Proper Use and Important Safeguards for the Coravin System.

As we told you in February, 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. We believe the likelihood of this occurrence is very rare since wine bottles are designed to withstand significantly greater pressure than the low pressure the Coravin System places into the bottle. Nevertheless, Coravin has now received seven reports of bottles bursting including one report of a laceration.

We have voluntarily reported these incidences to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in anticipation of a recall and have submitted a Corrective Action Plan to update the Coravin System instructions and warnings and will provide all existing and future customers with a remedy package that includes a neoprene wine bottle sleeve for use with the Coravin System.

We have voluntarily stopped selling and shipping Coravin Systems until we can fully implement an approved Corrective Action Plan. We are hopeful that in the next 30 days Coravin will be receiving, processing and beginning to ship remedy packages to our customer base. Once we have received approval for the Corrective Action Plan, we will begin shipping product again. We hope this disruption will be over in July and apologize to you for the inconvenience.

In the interim,

· If you are a reseller please STOP SELLING the Coravin System until you receive the Coravin System Inventory Remedy Package. Availability will be dependent on the timing of CPSC approvals.

· If you are a commercial user, please stop using the product until you receive the remedy package from us.

And, please read our updated Proper Use and Important Safeguards Guide which can be found in the FAQ section of Coravin’s website so you can address any questions about the Coravin System your customer may ask.

We will communicate any further details or requirements as part of a follow on communication plan. If you have any questions or concerns about this communication, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at update@coravin.com or call 1-844-267-2846.

If you have sold Coravin Systems, please forward this communication to your customers.

We appreciate your support and hope your Coravin System continues to change the way you way you enjoy, serve and share wine for years to come.

Sincerely,

The Coravin Team

  • Muiris

    Only one? That’s not bad at all.