Coravin®: Changing the Way the World Drinks Wine

Interpreting a new technology to build a complete product category.

Challenge: Build a product portfolio.
The Coravin product concept is a category-defining idea: enjoy wine by the glass from a bottle of wine without removing the cork. The “aha” for this product was immediate when a biomedical innovator who had developed a chemotherapy delivery system using a needle, imagined being able to use that same needle to access wine from a bottle.

Translating that eureka moment to a proof of concept product was a long journey. It coalesced around an initial product design and a standard use sequence: position the opener atop the bottle and grip the neck, push the needle through the cork and into the wine, and use inert gas to “pour”. Then pull the opener up and off the bottle and wait a moment for the cork to reseal. Simple and compelling, the original Coravin product introduced the wine preservation concept.

Coravin asked Essential to expand their offering in two directions: first, by designing an entry-level product that retained the charm of the original, but at a lower, more accessible price point; and then by conceiving a high-end product, equipped with technology that elevated the Coravin experience for the serious wine enthusiast.

 

Approach: Finetune each product’s value proposition to meet unique market segment needs.
The entry-level Coravin system was conceived to be a more affordable product than the original. It features sturdy color-coded parts that guide users to key touchpoints for the gripping, pushing and pulling motions of the product-in-use. Other features enable it to stand upright on a counter when not in use and provide easy access to both the gas canister for replacement and the needle for cleaning.

The premium system simplified the product’s use while enhancing the user experience. The opener enclosure was engineered to auto-grip the wine bottle neck and then auto-open the pouring channel, all in one motion. An edge-lit display, recessed at the top of the opener, adds soft-touch controls for free-pour or tasting-pour selections. Colored indicators also display gas and battery levels which can also be monitored via a Bluetooth-connected Coravin app.

 

Solution: Deliver and reinforce “The Coravin Experience” in both entry-level and premium offerings.
Both solutions improve usability to reinforce “The Coravin Experience” for single-glass pouring. The more expressive personality of entry-level product improved on the solid feel of the original while achieving a price point that puts Coravin in more hands.

The premium offer includes an elegant lighted console with capacitive-touch controls. Its companion app monitors system states remotely, offers wine-pairing recommendations for books, movies, TV, and more, and links to online merchants for direct ordering. For restaurants, this premium Coravin system has become an ideal way to expand their by-the-glass experience because it requires much less staff training than previous models.

 

Impact: Expanded market penetration and new opportunities for consumer and commercial wine enjoyment.
Like a showroom of high-performance vehicles, the Coravin portfolio now offers a full range of entry points for the wine-by-the-glass experience. Products can be matched to the interests of specific categories of retailer. And the premium offer now supports a growing market for Coravin table-side pours at fine restaurants.

Amid a sea of new high-tech lifestyle products, all hoping to engage with an early-adopter market, Coravin’s wine preservation product collection has made waves. Coravin debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as a CES Innovation Award honoree in the “Tech For A Better World” category, and in May 2019, announced that their high-end Model Eleven won the prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design.

 

“Building a company means assembling a team of people who not only have great skills, but who are also passionate about what they do. As with any business, but especially start-ups, you never know what will happen next. A strong team is resilient, flexible and determined to succeed regardless of the challenges that appear along the way. I am proud to say that we have a team of employees who are committed to excellence in everything they do.”
– Fred Levy, CEO / Coravin