Exploding Wine Bottles

exploding wine bottlesSparkling wines are supposed to pop, but recently there have been various problems with exploding wine bottles.

In some cases, bottle explosions were caused by a faulty wine tool, and in others, the problems were caused by faulty bottles.

CoravinTM Wine Tool Problems

The CoravinTM system touts the ability to enjoy wine without having to pull the cork. Greg Lambrecht, Founder, developed the system to allow anyone to enjoy wine by the glass without having to pull the cork, thereby initiating the oxidation process that ultimately spoils wine if not consumed within a reasonable time. As stated on the company’s website, “Your Coravin™ System will change the way you enjoy wine. It expands your opportunity to explore wines of any vintage, variety, winemaker, or wine growing region you desire, all by the glass. You now have the freedom to access any wine, any time, in any quantity you desire without ever pulling the cork. And you can go back to your favorites again and again, weeks or months later.”

The concept is great; however, the company halted sales in early June after reports of wine bottles exploding when using the device. Lambrecht told The Huffington Post (“Trendy $300 Wine Tool Is Accidentally Making Bottle Explode”) that the company is aware of seven bottle explosions and is urging consumers not to use their systems until a retrofit solution is created. He said, “I’ve been working on Coravin for over a decade. I built the first prototype in 2003. Over the course of that time, I never had a bottle break. But when you put a lot of the units out there, as we have, you start to uncover things that you don’t see in testing, because of the law of large numbers.”

The CoravinTM site now includes a prominent safety warning regarding exploding wine bottles.

Pennsylvania Wine Recall

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is urging consumers to get rid of bottles of Indigenous Selections Prosecco Brut 2013… but do so carefully. Bottles of this sparkling white wine are spontaneously exploding. PLCB Chairman, Joseph Brion issued a statement on Tuesday (June 17, 2014): “Consumers should use caution when handling this product. While we have not had any reports from consumers who may have been affected, we want to take every precaution in order to avoid a safety issue.” (His statement was included in several news sources, including the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteSpontaneously exploding wine bottle prompt PLCB recall.”)

The wine was sold in approximately 180 wine and spirits stores throughout Pennsylvania, starting this month. Refunds will be issued to consumers even though the wine should not be returned to the store. A receipt will be helpful in processing a refund.