When I go out to eat, I ask for the second-cheapest glass of red wine -- I figure it's a step up from ordering the cheapest glass. I prefer that the bottles of wine I buy for my home be no more than $12. And I turn to my friend, wine in a box, if I want to really get the party started.
I was comfortable being a casual wine drinker until I spotted the Coravin Model Eleven at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago last weekend. (We also saw it at CES in January.) The Model Eleven is a $1,000, Bluetooth-connected wine opener and preserver that's so fancy that it should come with a 401K and stock options when it goes on sale in September.
To use the Model Eleven, you clamp it onto your bottle of wine, and it shoots a needle through the cork (you're out of luck if you have screw-top wine). On the body of the Model Eleven, you can select how much wine you'd like to pour, and it comes out the needle and through a pour spout. While you pour your wine, the Model Eleven fills the empty space in the bottle with argon gas, which is used in winemaking to keep oxygen out and preserve the wine.
The Model Eleven also connects to Coravin's app, Coravin Moments, via Bluetooth. The app can keep track of argon levels in the opener, monitor battery life and remind you when it's time to clean the opener. The app will also give you wine recommendations based on what you're eating and doing (eating Mexican food and watching "Stranger Things" was the demo prompt company reps used at IHHS).
There are lots of devices available that add cool tech to the way you consume adult beverages. Some, like the PicoBrew's Pico and PicoStill, want to get you involved in the process of making alcohol. The Model Eleven falls in the category of wanting to make the alcohol you buy taste better, like the Fizzics or iFavin's line of Wi-Fi-enabled decanters that aerates your wine with purified oxygen.
I don't need the Model Eleven. No one does. But I wish I had enough wine knowledge and money in my bank account to justify bringing it home.