Underwater Wine Aging

Underwater Wine Aging

     With all the things we’re going through in these crazy times, it’s no surprise that wine will follow suit in some way. Now we’ve all heard about sunken ships with loads of gold and various other treasures. Along with the jewels and precious metals, there have been several clay containers that still have wine in them!  It didn’t take long for winemakers, especially of the new world where we have fewer and less strict rules about making wine, to try and start aging wine underwater.

     You heard that right. People are purposely putting many multiples of bottles in the ocean. A company in California called Ocean Fathoms claims that a bottle of wine stored on the ocean floor for a year tastes better than one aged on land. The claims are that the seafloor temperature, darkness, pressure and gently swaying currents makes it so. Also it makes for a great photo op when an octopus clings to the bottle when retrieving.

     This isn’t an isolated incident. Other wineries from other countries are experimenting the same aging system. To this, there have been informal tastings where the sunken ocean wine actually gets the positive nods from skeptics. Wines aged in the ocean have been described as more silky, mellow and even more angular. Since the different aging protocol would involve a separate molecular path than normally aged wine. In my humble opinion if you have the cash, do it. Otherwise stick with the normal stuff, we don’t all have to go into the ocean.

     Not all things are strange, take ‘fine wine’. We all think we know what that is but are we too much of the opinion that wines from X are great and others do not rank as well. There is an excellent Master of Wine named Tim Atkin who wrote that, ’Fine wine’ is outdated. He goes on to say that wines normally put in ‘asset’ classes only come from certain places. He goes on to suggest that we “rethink” our idea of a fine wine. Atkin’s wrote: “That’s the problem with the fine wine world as it stands. It’s profoundly conservative: slow to adapt, timid in its judgements, afraid to back emerging superstars or new regions until the “market” has confirmed its opinions.”

     The wines Tim spoke of were listed on the Liv-ex’s Power 100 as an example. The wines there and in general are terrible value for the money.  With a legit palate you can switch out a left bank fancy pants Bordeaux for a Cab Sauv from Le Rich Reserve in Stellenbosch for much less dough, but you don’t get the bragging points. Second is the fact that most wine is French focused. Like Tim, I adore Bordeaux, the Rhone and Burgundy but France is but a tiny portion of the wine world.  I agree with this because there are so many wines to try out. So have a glass of your favorite wine wherever it’s from and see you soon at Wine Republic.

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