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The Ocean As Your Wine Cellar

I don't know why every crackpot idea when it comes to wine has to do with aging wine, but it seems like every few months (and especially around the holidays) I hear of some new device or method for turning average wine into great wine, or great wine into legendary wine. This new idea isn't something you can buy on the internet, but all those folks who installed the Rolls Royce of wine cellars in their beach houses are going to be sorry when they hear this: apparently tossing your favorite bottles in the ocean is just as good.

Thanks to a little blurb in a recent issue of the Wine Spectator I tracked down some info on a winery in Chile which has a whole line of wines which are now being bottle aged on the sea floor. Yep. You heard that right. Vina Casanueva winery in Chile claims that the combination of pressure, constant temperature and filtered sunlight at about 30 feet of depth make for perfect wine storage conditions. They've even developed a special protective covering for the labels so they don't suffer from their underwater exposure.

In addition to deciding to age some of their wines this way, the crafty marketing folks at the winery have also set up a combo diving/wine tasting sort of tour to allow divers to collect their own wines off the ocean floor, and it seems that several Chilean restaurants are offering wet-suit clad sommelier service for these wines as well as others.

Here's a link to an auto-translated version of a Chilean news story all about it. I'm still shaking my head at the bizarreness of it all, but you know, I'd really like to try those wines....

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.