There’s something inherently sad about uncorking a bottle of wine, only to realize it’s turned to vinegar. Maybe it’s the wasted money or the expectation of a pleasant post-workday buzz gone bad. Whatever it is, Eric Corti hates it.
As Corti points out, even if you drink cheap wine, it hurts to waste it. He’s not a big fan of vacuum-pump devices, either. “You put the stopper in the top, you pump the heck out of that thing almost until you can’t anymore, but I would set the bottle on the counter and think, ‘I just did that, but I still see a lot of air coming in contact with my wine, so I don’t really understand how that’s working or why that’s any better.’”
Starting with toy balloons, he began experimenting with another way to keep air away from wine.
The resulting product, dubbed “Air Cork
,” comprises a hand-operated pump and inflatable balloon that fits inside wine bottles. An independent sommelier who reviewed the product found no residual flavors from the balloon and, in fact, said the product was more effective than corking alone at preserving wine.
Designed for affluent imbibers as well as those seeking a lower-priced product, Air Cork works equally well on all types of wine, according to Corti, who notes, “The goal is the same whether you have the $20 bottle or the $200 bottle. It’s not an expensive device; if you manage not to throw out two half bottles of $20 wine, you’re going to pay for it.”
So, where does a practically minded wine lover in Cincinnati buy a bottle or savor a glass? Corti and his wife frequent Piazza Discepoli in Glendale and West Chester’s Little Sonoma with friends.
By Robin Donovan