A Coravin ™ device will let you extract some wine without removing the cork. That way, you don’t have to drink the entire bottle within a few days. It uses a needle and gas to make this work. (I think they have a version for wines with screwcaps, but I haven’t tried that.)
The device is kind of expensive, and you have to buy little gas cartridges that maybe cost a buck or so per glass you pour. (Not sure about the exact cost….)
I’d say it makes a good gift for people who can afford anything they need, but wouldn’t spring for it themselves.
Here are some thoughts… good reasons to use it:
- Check for defects (corked, etc.) when you first buy a fancy/expensive bottle.
- Have a small taste to celebrate the purchase!
- Drink one glass at a time, maybe once a week, so you can drink extra-fancy wine every now and then.
- Rotate drinking one glass at a time from several bottles, so you can have variety.
- Show off tasting: give a friend a taste of your fancy wine. It’s educational!
- Comparison tasting of multiple fancy wines.
- Pour a glass or so to write a review, without having to open the bottle and drink it all right away. (!!)
- Check if your old, fancy bottle is still good before you open it at a big celebration.
- Check your wine before taking it out! How sad to BYOB to restaurant and be Sorry-Outa-Luck corked!
- Make your own blends — for example, 80-20% syrah/mourvedre — without having to open a whole bottle of the 20% wine.
Suggestions: 1) buy a base/stand; 2) buy a marker that writes on glass, in case you want to mark when you first extracted a taste… or when you bought it, for that matter.
If you check your new, fancy wine and it’s bad, I’m told a lot of wine stores will let you return it.
If you check the wine before you open it for a big celebration, it’ll give you a chance to find a good replacement.
If you can get a small glass out of a fancy bottle whenever you want and still keep the rest of the wine good for another day, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Updated 20181203: fixed typo and added ‘Make your own blends’ to list.
Updated 20181209: added BYOB scenario.