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12.11.2005

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....

Comments (9)

allan wrote:
12.12.05 at 6:03 AM

You know that is why they do it :). They want people like us to sit around and talk about it with our friends and they know SOMEONE will have an overwhelming urge to try it.

Of course, if this becomes a marketing success, vintners will need to start seperating their wine into oak aged, steel aged, and ocean aged.

I am going to go patent a method for aging wine on the moon -- that way I can be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing.

Alder wrote:
12.12.05 at 1:21 PM

Allan,

Thanks for the comment. Moon aging is definitely the next big thing. Can I invest?

allan wrote:
12.12.05 at 1:45 PM

No problem, the biggest problem, as I see it, is finding good real estate on the dark side of the moon ;).

Dave wrote:
12.12.05 at 8:00 PM

Damn.....why didn't I hink of that!

Is lake aged different to ocean aged...I mean can you taste the difference?

Dave

allan wrote:
12.12.05 at 10:09 PM

Dave,

For whatever it is worth, oceans are saltwater and lakes are generally freshwater. How that would affect the aging I do not know. However, I think you could but together a better marketing campaign with freshwater -- even better would be a "cool mountain stream".

12.14.05 at 4:49 PM

Allan,

The "cold mountain stream" idea does sound like a good marketing pitch, although you'd be missing out on the clear benefits of "filtered sunlight."

alex wrote:
12.19.05 at 1:28 AM

hi,
There is something similar in portugal. One wine estate left its wine in steel cages in the douro river for some years. here's a link to ebay germany where you can see a pic.

View Item

Greg wrote:
12.19.05 at 9:45 PM

This is just marketamazing! I mean, this babe in a white sundress swimming underwater with eyes open in the saltwater, going to fetch your bottle prior to decanting at the table. As any marketing and especially wine marketing person would know, it's the emotion you appeal to. This is such sensual output.

Alder, I would love to chat with you about the Bonny Doon Vineyard Wine Club. Feel free to contact me offline. I think it would be interesting to do a feature on the marketing techniques of wine clubs. I am a friend of Karen K.

Nathanial wrote:
12.23.05 at 10:58 PM

There was a big thing with 'perfectly aged vintage champagne' that was salvaged from the titanic a few years back.

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