Leave the cork puller in the drawer, and the cork in the bottle. The Pungo pours wine through the cork via a double-chambered needle, displacing wine with an inert gas, thereby preventing any contact with oxygen. Wines under Pungo stay fresh for months and years. You can leave the Pungo on the bottle, or remove it to serve multiple wines at the same time. Upon removing the Pungo, insert a sealing pin in the cork, which compresses the cork along its length, creating the ultimate seal.
Optionally, a sealing cap can be placed over the mouth of the bottle, creating another layer of protection. The sealing cap has a special aperature called a "tri-seal" that keeps inert gas from escaping when the Pungo is removed and the sealing pin inserted. These are recommended for long-term storage.
Pungo'ed and pinned bottles can be stored on their sides.
Built to last: Pungos are constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and 304 stainless steel. Designed and manufactured in the USA.
At the heart of the Pungo is the needle assembly, which is comprised of six 304 stainless-steel parts, silver-brazed into one solid component designed to withstand the stress of commercial environments. While intuitively it may seem that the large needle would simply push a wine cork into the bottle, an ultra-low-friction coating applied in six layers allows the needle to glide through most corks with very little effort. Further, being able to successfully Pungo a cork demonstrates that it hasn't lost resilience nor grip in the bottle neck, which is a good indication that the closure has remained intact.
The large needle has several advantages. It allows dual channel-flow, where inert gas enters the bottle as wine is dispensed in a smooth laminar stream, which avoids aeration. The choice to aerate your wine should be yours, not the device's. The large needle allows extremely low-pressure operation, on the order of 1-2 psi. Besides being inherently safe, this extremely low pressure prevents the wine from absorbing inert gas during dispensing and long-term storage. The absorption of gas can materially affect the taste of wine, essentially decanting it in the bottle. This can adversely affect older, more fragile wines.
Attaching a high-pressure gas cartridge to a glass bottle necessitates a safety-minded approach. The Pungo includes several safety measures, both inherent and explicit:
The Pungo needle seems large. Can the cork reseal itself after it's removed?
No; cork is a natural product that is so unpredictable in its properties, we would never rely on its resiliency to reseal itself, no matter how small the hole. That's why the Pungo is either left in place, or is replaced with a sealing pin, which actually provides a tighter seal than the cork alone.
How many times can I replace the Pungo with a sealing pin in the same bottle?
Indefinitely. The sealing pin is covered with the same non-stick coating as the Pungo's needle, so there's no appreciable wear on the cork, even after repeated cycles.
How many bottles will one cartridge dispense?
Nitrogen 4-5 bottles / Argon 5-6 bottles / CO2 11-12 bottles
Why wouldn't I just use CO2 instead of argon or nitrogen when it is so much cheaper?
CO2 works great for younger wines, especially whites. Many vintners add a tad during bottling to make certain selections 'brighter'. With that being said, some users may be sensitive enough to detect its presence in more mature vintages.
Do I have to leave the Pungo on the bottle?
No. One Pungo can serve multiple bottles. Just pull the Pungo out and replace with a sealing pin. If you've attached a sealing cap to the bottle, it has a special tri-seal that will trap the inert gas in the bottle head space as the Pungo needle is extracted.
The sealing cap doesn't fit on my bottle. Can I use the Pungo without a sealing cap?
Absolutely. The sealing cap is just an added measure of protection to guard against less than ideal corks, especially for very long-term storage. Many customers have been using Pungos for years straight through the cork.
If I leave the Pungo on the bottle, can I store it in the refrigerator or wine cooler?
Yes, the Pungo is unaffected by temperature swings. In addition, the bottle can be stored upright or laying on its side with either a Pungo or a sealing pin inserted.
Will the Pungo dispense the entire bottle?
Yes, although if you want to save a little gas, you can pull the cork to get at the last glass if you're sure you're going to finish it.
When moving the Pungo from bottle to bottle, especially different vintages, do I have to worry about mixing flavors?
When the Pungo needle is released during a pour, the spout and the needle will retain wine due to surface tension. The next pour would incorporate that little bit into the next glass. If this is undesirable, a short shot can be dispensed as waste to clear the passage. If further cleansing is desired, please reference the Instruction Manual above.
We supply three types of inert gas: nitrogen (N2) (with a fraction of argon (Ar) mixed in - 11.6% by volume), pure argon (99.99%), and food-grade CO2. For wines and spirits, we recommend N2. Some of our customers prefer CO2 for white wines, which helps to keep these wines bright and crisp.
One thing to keep in mind when putting wine and spirits under inert gas is that these liquids readily absorb gases that aren't already in solution. For example, an unopened bottle of wine has essentially zero percent dissolved oxygen (O2). Any O2 that made it into the bottle during filling, and over time as ingress through the cork, will have reacted with sulphur dioxide or the wine compounds. This is why a bottle of wine opened to the atmosphere will immediately start absorbing O2. Contrary to popular belief, reactions with O2 take time - hours to days, but absorption can happen quickly, especially if there's agitation.
N2, the largest component of the atmosphere at 78% by volume, is inert at room temperature with respect to wine, and remains in solution at a saturated concentration from the time the wine is a grape to when it's fully matured in a bottle. The only way to get more N2 into solution is to increase its partial pressure and/or lower the solution temperature.
Argon, on the other hand, only constitutes 1% of the atmosphere, which means that it is not normally found in solution at any significant concentration in grapes. Argon sparging is rare in winemaking, which means that most wines have essentially no concentration of dissolved argon. So any argon introduced into a bottle of wine, will be soaked up like a sponge, increasingly so as the pressure increases. While it’s true that argon does not react with wine compounds due to it being extremely inert, dissolved argon can soften older more fragile wines, essentially decanting the wine in the bottle. This may or may not be desired.
This is why we prefer N2 to serve and preserve wine. Simply put, N2, in concert with the Pungo’s low operating pressure of 1-2 psi, does the best job of leaving the wine's delicate chemistry intact.