Every now and then a generation experiments with the way legacy has been handed down and challenges the norm to create beautiful innovation. We are not talking about technological advances here, but a more “back to basic” approach to storing wine far from the modern temperature & humidity controlled cellars. You wonder why wine aficionados spends exorbitant amounts on flamboyant cellars with regal/secretive stairway access when you can “surf n’ sip”.
What started as a experiment, storing your wines in the ocean has been deemed and ratified as a perfectly viable way of aging the wines. Those bold (or shall we say crazy) enough to discover this mechanism believe it has something to do with tthe combination of pressure, constant temperature and filtered sunlight at about 30 feet of depth making for perfect wine storage conditions. Vina Casanueva winery in Chile even developed a special protective covering for the labels so they don’t suffer from their underwater exposure. Among the first to pioneer this alternative method of storage, they have also developed special packaging to last longer in such conditions.
It also makes one wonder if such means were adopted by cargo ships in the 1800′s to ‘hide’ the wine cases from pirates. We can just picture a Jack Sparrow discovering a hidden crate of fine French wines after blowing up the Black Pearl and unassumingly saving the damsel in distress.
Imagine the possibilities to commoditize “sea bubblys” – deep sea scuba diving lessons for those who wish to pick their selection of wine. Oh what the heck, might as well pick an appropriate sea creature to pair the wine with while I’m at it.
Some wineries started this as a solution to their limited storage problems. xx being one of them based in Italy and storing their champagne in the metiterranean. While it would be a stretch to say that the end product of sea-aged is better than your usual land-aged, Mr. Lugano seems more than satisfied.
“When first poured, the bubbles come rushing up to the surface of the glass like sea foam at high tide, but then quickly relax into a fine perlage. The color is pale golden-yellow with greenish reflections, while the aroma suggests caramelized lemon peel and dried flower petals with hints of baked apple and allspice. On the palate it is surprisingly soft, leading into ripe, almost sweet, white peach followed by bracing acidity and a dry mineral finish.”
Evident success also brought the big names in the champagne fraternity around to utilizing the power of this new, pseudo-scientific methodology for some shameless publicity.
Plentzia Laboratorio Submarino Envejecimiento Bebidas (LSEB) is an underwater laboratory dedicated to the study of aging wines on the seabed. They openly invite all denominations of origin to participate in the experiment. Located off the northern shore of Spain, the research lab is putting scientific intelligence behind the whim and fancy of oenologists wanting to break the monotony of an ‘earthly’ cellar. One dive down to an aquatic cellar shall provide a most ethereal experience. Here’s wishing them an ocean of success. Pardon the pun.
Romie Rattan Babra, a wine connoisseur by heart, savvy ex-Wall Street investment banker brings a fresh perspective to the Indian wine industry. With an MBA in finance from the United States combined with years of learning about wine making across various vineyards in Napa Valley he is adept at perfectly blending business and art.