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As crazy as it may sound, if you go fishing in the Atlantic this summer, you could catch wine. Off the coast of Brittany and in the area of Basque Country wines are resting ninety meters deep on the ocean floor. Champagnes, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Val de Loire locked up in heavy cages, lulled by the rhythm of the ocean. Underwater is the ideal spot for maturing wine, at least according to winemakers who experiment with this method. Is it just a smart sales pitch?

Shipwreck Champagne

You probably heard the magnificent stories of well-preserved bottles found in old shipwrecks. Six years ago divers came across 162 bottles of Champagne, lying quietly at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in the belly of a ship that sunk in 1840. Professional sommeliers dared to sip the questionable cargo and were struck by the good taste of most of the batch. That must have been a special tasting session.

Better than a traditional wine cellar?

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You need special cases with concrete blocks and a team of professional divers to emerge those precious bottles. Why would you go to such lengths to preserve wine? Well, according to the suppliers, under water wine ages more slowly and smoothly than ashore. The eternal darkness, constant temperature (13 degrees) and almost complete absence of gravity and oxygen creates magic. Some connoisseurs and wine specialists seem to agree. Take a sip of wine that has spent at least a year under water: that complexity, that soft and round flavour, that intense colour! In fact, almost sixty Michelin starred restaurants feature underwater-wine on their wine list.

PS: if this isn’t crazy enough: how about a wine cellar in space? Spanish scientists are eager to find out what the impact of zero gravity and zero oxygen might be…

 

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