We’ve all heard the story of water being turned into wine, but what about wine being submerged in water? It’s been done in Europe, but it’s still pretty new in the United States: aging wine in the ocean.
Mira Winery in California just started their own experiment by submerging four cases of Cabernet Sauvignon in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor. The bottles were placed in yellow steel mesh cages and will live underwater for the next three months.
So what’s the big idea with putting the wine under the water? What do they think will happen? Well, winemakers have known for a while that wines recovered from sunken ships return to land with unique flavors. They think that water pressure, temperature and the gentle currents all play a part in changing the taste.
Michael Kaiser, the director of communications for WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, thinks wine from sunken ships tastes better just because it has had time to age (though he acknowledges there’s a chance the water helped out as well). “It’s correct, it does change the makeup of the wine. When you store wine it’s not supposed to be stored underwater and especially in salinized water,” he said. “But it’s interesting that someone would experiment with it to see what it’s like.”
As for the wine from Mira Winery, they say it’s just an experiment and they want to see if it’s possible to do this with larger quantities of wine for longer amounts of time in the future. The wine used for the experiment is a 2009 vintage and it has already been aged in a wine cellar. Once it is brought up from the ocean, it will be chemically compared to the wine aged in a wine cellar. Wine experts will also taste it and compare it.
What kind of effect do you think the ocean will have on the wine?