OK, tell us what comes to mind if we say…
Think about it for a minute…
Did your head go to magical places, where trumpets blare and angels sing?
We know. The same glorious visions flew through our heads. But while we can wish, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about lake-aged wine, and it’s pretty interesting!
At the Ervideira winery in Portugal, their experiments include Invisivel, which is a white wine made from red grapes, and wine from the bottom of a lake. The Vinho De Agua has been aged for eight months under 30 meters of water.
What’s most interesting is that the lake wine and the same wine aged on land taste different! CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk had the opportunity to try both.
“The one aged in the usual way, in a cellar, was good, perhaps a little on the young and fruity side… But the so-called Vinho De Agua version was very much ready to be drunk, as if it had spent several years waiting for me to turn up. Not only did it taste entirely different, but it tasted as if it wasn’t remotely the same blend.”
Ervideira is not the only winery experimenting with underwater aging – with similar results.
Mira Winery in Napa Valley was the first to test this process., beginning with 48 bottles of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottles spent three months under sixty feet of water before being tasted alongside the same wine which had been cellar-aged.
“We were stunned by the conclusion… the wines had actually taken different paths in that short period. The character of the wine has remained similar, but the ocean wine tasted older, much more complex, and the tannins were more rounded. We asked ourselves – is this a different wine, and more importantly, is it a better wine?”
So they did more testing. This time 100 bottles of wine, underwater for six months. After blind taste tests in seven cities, 140 of 147 tasters thought they were sampling two completely different grapes.
Mira’s Aquaoir sells for $500 and comes with a bottle of the same land-aged wine for comparison (Yes, it comes with the barnacles still on the bottle and looking like recovered pirate treasure. We think that might be the coolest part.), but they’ve only sold a handful of bottles to their wine club.
The science isn’t settled on why water-aged wine tastes different. But while the experiments are ongoing, we’re happy to offer our services for tasting and comparison, whenever another batch breaks the surface!
What do you think? Interested in trying some underwater wine? Drop your thoughts in the comments!