The traditional image of wine continues to be promoted and modernised by businesses like iDealwine and Coravin, which have just one objective: to respect those who make wine and offer a unique experience to those who savour it.
iDealwine and Coravin, pioneers and experts in their fields
What do iDealwine and Coravin have in common? Well, these international companies are known for, among other things, offering wine lovers unique moments with fine wine. If you’ve been around in the world of wine for a while, you probably already know them, but if you’re new to this universe, or your memory needs jogging, here’s a little reminder.
iDealwine and Coravin, a short history
Created in 2000, iDealwine has been the leading European wine auction house and joint leading online auctioneer since 2014. Starting out in the auction market, the company added the fixed-price sales section to its website in 2004, making it one of the first companies to sell and estimate the price of wine online. The price estimates offered an impressive transparency to interested parties at a time when the sector was opaque, and the price of a wine varied from one auction to another. What is more, the website initially offered the possibility to bid on lots up for auction at physical French auction houses via iDealwine representatives.
As for Coravin, it united the passion of wine and medical expertise. We’ll go into plenty more detail if you’re interested. 🙂 It started in the 1990s when founder, Greg Lambrecht faced the challenge of finishing a bottle of wine on his own because his wife was pregnant. Disliking the idea of pouring wine down the drain, but also wanting to enjoy a single glass every now and then led to the creation of a system which would allow him to pour a glass while preserving what remained in the bottle. The key detail? Using delicate medical needles intended to be employed in paediatric chemotherapy. In order to obtain the required quality, Greg Lambrecht tasted a number of wines blind with winemakers and other experts from the wine world. Patience is a virtue and Greg has buckets of it; it took him eight years before he could launch the C1000 model, Coravin’s first system for conserving wine. It was a revolution! You could taste a wine but still leave the bottle in the cellar for a few years.
Two companies that know how to convince professionals in the industry
iDealwine and Coravin have each in their own way transformed the world of wine. The former by creating a new way to buy wine and the latter by allowing people to savour mature wines without having to open the bottle. And what is more, professions from all over the world have been won over.
To that point, iDealwine has many clients beyond France’s border, in 65 different countries to be exact. Over time, the variety of lots put up for auction and the number of bidders per lot have grown and now iDealwine’s bright light shines around the globe. The company is known for selling mature vintages and will highlight whether the bottles up for sale have come from a professional’s (establishments that wish to add new stock to their cellars or wineries that wish to sell mature vintages, for example) or private individual’s collection. As for the wines it sells at a fixed price, iDealwine counts on a magnificent network of over 900 partner domains from all over the world.
While Coravin is extremely valuable to many different people but especially to the establishments that sell wine by the glass. Not needing to remove the cork, the non-stick needle pierces the cork in different locations without dislodging any of it. The amount of wine that is served is immediately replaced by argon gas to avoid the remainder from oxidising. The Coravin PivotTM+ is a favourite of many as it aerates and preserves the wine as it is poured, meaning that even a rounded, richly flavoured wine can be enjoyed with this device.
iDealwine and Coravin – visionary spirits
With ranges that are truly useful to wine enthusiasts, the two companies have won several accolades. Let’s travel back in time. But not too far back, don’t worry; we’re not going to see any dinosaurs!
- 2014: iDealwine is named through its subsidiary IWA (International Wine Auction) as France’s leading wine auction house. Since then, it has not lost this title.
- 2015: Celebrations all round as iDealwine is named “The best website to buy mature vintages” by the French magazine La Revue du vin de France and awarded the Grand Prix for innovation by another French wine magazine Bettane+Desseauve.
- 2018: Coravin is awarded the prize for innovation by Consumer Technology Association (CES) in the category Tech for a Better World as CES opened its doors in New York.
- 2019: Coravin received the Red Dot prize (one of the most highly contested awards for product design in the world) for its Model Eleven, the first system to preserve wine automatically that can also be connected to the Coravin Moment application. This allows you select the speed that you wish the wine to be poured and to receive information about the state of the device as well as reminders to change the capsule.
Innovation at the heart of iDealwine and Coravin
Far from resting on their laurels, the two companies chose to use their passion for wine to create a modern and attractive image of this traditional world.
After a few years in business, iDealwine became a gold mine, offering clients a complete guide to monitor and analyse the market (tools to estimate the value of their collection in real time, alerts for their favourite wines, the iDealwine price estimates, auction reports, creation of a digitalised storage cellar…). But that is not all! In 2020, the wine retailer took another step and launched WineDex.io, an application to certify and trace wines. A RFID (radio frequency identification) tag is attached to high-value bottles (€800 and above) appraised by the team of experts, creating a permanent link between the bottle of wine and the information saved in the blockchain. If the tags are removed from the bottle, they self-destruct (no, they don’t blow themselves up, but they will no longer work) and cannot be stuck to another bottle. Up to now, WineDex tags have been added to more than 14,000 bottles.
In May 2022, the company advanced even further into the world of cutting-edge technology with the sale of 10 magnums and their associated NFTs. The label of each magnum, which was illustrated with unique artwork painted by the artist Dimitri HK, contained an NFT chip linking the bottle to the artwork as well as a WineDex tag to insure their authenticity and traceability.
Coravin has also been busy in recent years, creating new tools based on wine enthusiasts’ needs. Among them is the Coravin Sparkling™. This device perfectly preserves a sparkling wine’s bubbles and its crispness for up to four weeks.
Other tools have also been released since the very first model and others are in the works. There are different types of needles depending on the requirements (there is one for mature vintages, for example) as well as closures which can preserve wine for up to three months and can be reused around 50 times. That’s before we mention the aerators which when used equate to having opened the bottle an hour or an hour and a half earlier. Last but not least, Coravin Vinitas is an ingenious system for decanting wine into sample bottles of 100ml that can be kept for a year and what is more, the bottles themselves are recyclable.
And that is how traditional image of wine continues to be promoted and modernised, to a certain extent, by these businesses that have just one objective: to respect those who make wine and offer a unique moment to those who savour it!
Odds are that iDealwine clients have found Coravin devices to be something they don’t want to live without. The valuable tools have completely changed the way they enjoy their precious wines.
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