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.