Skip to comments.Napa Wine Aged in the Ocean Yields Surprising Results
Posted on 05/24/2013 11:32:21 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Three months ago, Mira Winery in Napa embarked on a grand experiment: It lowered 48 bottles of its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon into the ocean outside Charleston, S.C. in a custom-built cage to see what aging in the sea would do to the wine's flavor. On Tuesday, the bottles were retrieved and tasted. The differences between the wine aged in the ocean and the wine aged in the regular process are "incredible," according to Gutavo Gonzalez, Mira winemaker.
Both were fruit-forward and jammy, as would be expected from a new wine, but the vino in the ocean-aged bottles had loosened up and relaxed much more than he expected after just three months. Possible causes floated by Gonzales and Patrick Emerson, an advanced sommelier who also tasted the wine, include the ocean's relatively stable temperature, lack of light, and the rocking motion of the waves.
"I'm perplexed and amazed at how quickly these wines have sort of taken two different paths. Both are delightful to drink. I can tell they're the same wine, but it's almost like there has been some magic happened in the aquaoir," Emerson said in a press conference yesterday.
Mira plans to sell twelve bottles of the wine to Wine Club Members beginning June 1 on a first-come, first-serve basis. But there will be more: In the fall, the winery plans to continue the experiment by placing eight cases of wine in the water for six months.
Ocean water is considered living water (mayim chayim) by the rabbis.
Maybe the life force in the water did it!
Next we’ll be seeing “ocean aged” wine for sale on store shelves.
It’s true, I’ve had an occasion to try it. The wine’s tastes a bit salty, though.
James May and Oz Clark need to weigh in.
If the wine is made in Napa, why did they have to go all the way to SC to put it in the ocean? Wasn’t the Pacific good enough for them?
Though there may be a difference, I consider this to be basically a publicity stunt, like Harley Davidson trying to patent the potato-potato sound or Makers mark reducing their alcohol content slightly to increase production.
The two examples worked remarkably well. And this company got their name out there effectively with this.
Wonder if we lowered Libs into the ocean for three months if there would be incredible differences.
An electromagnetic field might also be in play.
“James May and Oz Clark need to weigh in.”
I was thinking that Penn & Teller need to weigh in with another episode of “Bulls**t!”
The Norwegians age Akavit by putting it into casks then keeping it in the hold of a cargo ship for 1 year. Again, constant temperature.
Why the Atlantic?
And of couse it will be a bit more expensive.
I’m going to guess that the higher ambient temperature of the Gulfstream was thought to be kinder to the goods that the typically much colder Pacific.
Please don’t take this as a slam against this post it is meant as a comment on wine reviews in general. No offense intended.
Reading reviews about wine is like reading an art or movie or play critic’s review and attempting to make any logical connection between the words used and the subject.
Jammy? Sure, OK, I can understand that and imagine the taste.
Fruit-forward??? WTH is the chemical formula for producing Fruit-forward and just what have they failed to convey to a normal human being assuming they are describing a taste. Does this contribute to glo-bull warming/cooling.
Relaxed?? Again, just what chemical formula produces relaxed and what does that do to ones tongue?
I get the impression they are just attempting to impress a limited few snobs who would not dare to dispute the Relaxed taste or if the Fruit was forward or reverse.
Under full disclosure I have to admit to committing the ultimate Wine Faux Pas in France a few years back where the buss boy at our table nearly went spastic when we were willing to try a Wine which had just been released to the market and was suggested by our waiter.
He went ballistic because we were having fish and it was a red wine. Oh the humanity. You would have though we were mixing matter and anti-matter and I am not exaggerating.
I love the fact that the waiter recommended it, but it was the bus boy who got furious. Only in France. Was he mad at the waiter or you?
It’s just the jargon people use to make outsiders think something is complicated or special to be able to charge more. Avoidng plain English impresses some people.
Well, like you, no offense intended, but just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s not legit. Folks in the wine industry or who are avid consumers know what these terms mean. I may not understand what a lot of terms used, say, in tree pruning or book binding or basket weaving mean, but that doesn’t mean the terms are meaningless to those who need to use them.
And second, there are plenty of times red wine is great with fish. Depends on the wine, the fish and how its prepared. You decide what you like, there are no rules that must be followed or else. And that’s probably a reason the guy was still a bus boy and not waiter.
I’m partial to the south Pacific myself.
OK, let me get this right. You lower something in a cage in to the the oean and you leave it there for 3 months and that makes it better?
And we need to make the IRS better?
Hey, I have an idea!
Charleston is where the Ashley River and the Cooper River unite to form the Atlantic Ocean.
Or so I've heard.
I'm reminded of Two Buck Chuck winning the blind taste test at the California State Fair competition in 2007.
July 12, 2007More at ABC Story
The connoisseurs may cringe, the snobs may even sob, but the judges have spoken: California's best chardonnay costs less than $3.
Charles Shaw Chardonnay, better known as "Two Buck Chuck," beat hundreds of other wines and was named the top prize in a prestigious tasting competition in California.
"The characteristics that we look for in our gold medal winner a nice creamy butter, fruity it was a delight to taste," said 2007 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition judge Michael Williams.
The affordable wine beat out 350 other California chardonnays to win the double gold. Second place went to an $18 bottle, and the most expensive wines at the event, at the price of $55, didn't even medal.
If it works for violins, why not wine?
Fruit forward generally means you get more of a fruit (grape) taste at the start of the sip, vs a more aged wine where the fruit flavor has dissipated. Relaxed typically describes a wine which requires less decanting time before unpleasant flavors have dissipated from the wine.
As for ocean aging - colder aging has been around for quite a while, and warmer cellars can give a marked difference in flavor. Typically, however, the difference is right after removing the cork - once decanted for an hour or so, it is difficult to tell the difference between a cold cellar and a warm cellar aging.
And yes, I drink two buck Chuck. The Savignon Blanc is particularly good this year.
Currents in both oceans move the same direction in each hemisphere. Clockwise in north of the equator counterclockwise in the south. So the currents passing the pacific coast are colder than those passing the Atlantic coast. I imagine that temp difference was part of the difference.
I put a six pack of beer in the creek....It tasted like semi-cold beer?
My first thought. Maybe I'm too cynical but I see this as a marketing ploy for the well-healed who will now say they simply must have the ocean-aged wine and turn up their noses at others who can't afford such a delicacy.
“Both were fruit-forward and jammy”
But I like my wine ass-backward and clammy!
I'm waiting for not only 'ocean aged', but specific places in the ocean. 'Mediterranean Sea aged', 'Indian Ocean aged', and rather than the far too common 'Atlantic Ocean', it'll be Bahama Ocean Aged, or Cape Cod Ocean Aged... ;)
That is crazy! But.. it totally makes sense! Love it and want to try it!
Your point is well taken but as one who believes that words have or sure should have meaning, if they are to convey a thought to another human, concocting meanings to impress the inner circle does nothing to help those of us outside that circle.
And yes, I admit to not understanding the subtleties of Wine, it would be helpful to skip the fru-fru esoteric language and help more people understand assuming the point is to inform rather than impress.
How is that possible? If anything from the ocean environment leached into the bottle I would think the product would be unpalatable.
True, but what a possibility for jokes, good and bad!
Yeah, yeah pal. Just fill it up.
And just like 'organic' food...who is to say it is or isn't?
And just like 'organic' food...it'll have a price difference to match.
Light red wine goes fine with fish, the rule is not arbitrary, but it is related how flavors blend. Still, the con-a-sewers lingo is often, as you point out, used to impress and not to inform.
I’m preparing fish tonight. I think I’ll have a Beringers White Zin with it.
"I drank red wine when I wants to drank it! The fish is daid. He ain't gonna care whut color the wine is!"
At the farmers market, I usually see organic cheaper than regular at the super market.
When wine is aged there are chemical reactions happening for anywhere from one to twenty five years depending on the wine. These involve dissolved gasses, tannins, acids, and resins, and depend on many factors including the wood barrels when used.
There are around 20 aroma families used to describe a wines smell such as floral, fruits, herbaceous, minerals, spices, and musk.
Also considered are texture, color, alcohol content and of course, taste. For taste there are over 100 descriptors that describe the balance between acids, sugars, tannins, and the alcohol as well as specific flavors.
I love wine, I drink a lot of it, and I read the labels. Many labels will identify flavors in the wine for you. That is how regular people learn about wines. You just need to jump in and try some. My first wine was Lambrusco. LOL.
Most people new to wine do not like the dry wines, and that is all we drink anymore. Now we are on a local (Missouri) wine kick, much different varietals (types of grape). Most of the grocery stores only carry the sweet Missouri wines, so I wouldn’t drink it. We visited a winery in Hermann and brought home 2 cases of nice dry wine (and sparkling grape juice for the kids).
For me it’s all about the color of the box...ROTFLMAO!!!
I met a gal once who was “fruit forward and jammy”
Cardbordeaux! We drink that too. LOL.
I met her, too.