Mira Winery: Wine Aged In the Sea Yields Surprising Results

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 May 21 the bottles were retrieved and tasted. The differences between the two wines are "incredible," according to Gutavo Gonzalez, Mira winemaker, referring to a side-by-side comparison between the ocean-steeped wine and bottles that had been exposed to the usual air aging. 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 include the ocean's stable temperature, lack of light, and the rocking motion of the waves. In the fall, the winery plans to continue the experiment by placing eight cases of wine in the water for six months.

 
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