We at Ideal Wine Company were interested to hear recently that vintners in California have produced the first wine in America that has been aged under the sea.
Who’s responsible for this idea?
This unusual news from the world of wine is surprising to say the least, and you’re probably at this point wondering who came up with the idea.
The credit can go Jim Dyke, who runs Mira Winery in Napa Valley. Jim decided to break from the conventional wisdom of aging wine in a cellar and instead decided to experiment aging forty-eight bottles of his 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in the ocean.
The wine was stored in custom-built steel cages, secured to wooden boards with their necks sealed with wax. They were then left 60ft below the Charleston Harbour in South Carolina for 12 weeks.
The harbour was selected for its stable temperature of around 13°C – the same temperature at which wine is typically aged on land.
So what were the results?
After the three months were up the wine was tasted by advanced sommelier Patrick Emerson and Mira’s wine-maker of twenty years’ experience, Gustav Gonzalez.
After only a short period of being aged in the ocean, the wine had a singularly different taste to the same wine that was aged in their cellars. The deep sea conditions appeared to have accelerated the aging process.
In the words of Mr Dyke, “Ocean wine tasted older, much more complex, and the tannins were more rounded.
What happened next?
After shocking result of the first experiment, further tests were conducted, doubling the aging period to six months and using hundred bottles. Of the 147 people who tasted the finished product, a remarkable 140 mistakenly believed they were tasting a completely different wine to what had been aged in a cellar.
Despite laboratory tests showing that the wines had almost exactly the same chemical composition, the precise reasons why the wine that aged underwater tasted so differently is not yet fully understood.
Will it take off?
This news will certainly come as a major shock and the questions on many peoples' lips will be whether or not this takes off. Whilst we at Ideal Wine Company unfortunately don't have the answer to that question it will be interesting to see if and how this develops.