Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Shipwrecked 150 Year Old Wine Tastes Mostly of Salt Water

The Ideal Wine Company were slightly amused to learn recently, that experts were dismayed to find that a 150 year old wine recovered from a shipwreck turned out to taste mostly of salt water.

Wine needs to be stored properly
As suppliers of fine wines from some of the most famous wine making regions on the planet, the Ideal Wine Company has never, not for one minute, underestimated the importance of storage.

No matter how old your vintage, you need to store it properly if you want to ensure it provides you with the out-of-body experience so common of fine wines, when you finally crack it open. As a recent discovery proved, store wine incorrectly and you’ll end up with a bottle destined to turn your stomach.

More than a hint of salt water
The Telegraph has reported that experts were disappointed recently when they cracked open a vintage they found in the wreckage of the Mary-Celestia. They suggested that the bottle, which produced a cloudy yellow liquid, had a bouquet which consisted of sulphur whilst it left a distinct aftertaste; laced with more than a hint of salt water.

The Mary-Celestia was a steamship that sank off the coast of Bermuda in 1864, at the height of the American Civil War. That means that this vintage was 150 years old when it, along with five other bottles, was discovered and retrieved by two divers back in 2011. 

Why did a 150 year old bottle of wine taste so bad?
This leads us to ask, why did a 150 year old vintage taste so bad? We’ve often been told that the older a wine is, the better it is. Furthermore, Paul Roberts, the master sommelier at the ceremonial uncorking of the wine in Charleston, the capital of the US state of West Virginia, noted that he’s had shipwrecked wines before that have retained their heady flavour.

Yet this particularly bottle was discovered inside a locker positioned in the bow of the ship. Essentially it wasn’t stored properly. That allowed sea water to seep into the vintage, ensuring that its taste soured as it aged.

Cautionary tale
Use this story as a cautionary tale. If you buy a fabulous Burgundy or a scintillating Australian wine from the Ideal Wine Company and you plan to keep it for a long time, store it properly. Who knows what’ll happen to it otherwise.