The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - LOST & FPOUND -

In the drink French wine­mak­ers are ex­plor­ing a novel method of age­ing wines: plac­ing bot­tles un­der the sea. In the lat­est ex­per­i­ment, 120 reds, whites and rosés from Ban­dol, Provence, were tasted af­ter be­ing left for a year on the seabed of the Mediter­ranean, 40m deep. Af­ter be­ing com­pared with wines that had been kept in a cel­lar for 12 months, most con­nois­seurs said they pre­ferred the un­der­wa­ter va­ri­ety. Som­me­lier Philippe Fau­reBrac de­scribed them as “ex­cep­tional in com­plex­ity”, adding: “There is no light, there is no air, it’s rel­a­tively cool and the tem­per­a­ture is con­stant. The move­ment of the sea bur­nishes the struc­ture of the wine”. The bot­tles, which had wax seals around their corks, were placed in spe­cially made boxes on the sandy seabed. The idea of un­der­wa­ter stor­age caught on in 2010, when 168 bot­tles of cham­pagne were dis­cov­ered in a 170-year-old ship­wreck in the Baltic Sea. It turned out they’d aged nicely; one of the bot­tles was sold in 2011 for $45,000.

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