Ocean-Aged Wine

Ocean Fathoms promised its customers truly superior wine (for the price of $500/bottle) based on its unique method of aging the wine: in the ocean. It dropped the wine bottles to the bottom of the Santa Barbara Channel and brought them up a year later. From its website:

The Santa Barbara Channel offers not only the perfect environment for the aging process of wine, but is sits in a rich sea-life transition zone, where cold arctic waters meet warmer waters from the equator providing more than 100 species of flora and fauna unique to this location. The combination of flora and fauna attracts an abundance of sea-creatures and sea-life which ultimately adorn our bottles.

It is also the interaction between the submerged wine cages and the set of special characteristics of the Channel Islands’ environment that gives Ocean Fathoms a superior product. We sourced the absolute best location on planet earth to age our superior wine.

One problem. It never got permits to do any of this. The Bureau of Alcoholic Beverage Control seized and destroyed 2,000 bottles of the wine.

I wonder if the ocean-aging actually made any difference. My guess is that it's just the latest wine-industry gimmick.

More info: Food & Wine
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 22, 2023
     Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants | Overpriced Merchandise

Well, the ocean does keep the cork from drying and allowing oxygen into the bottle, and the salt in it might improve the wine a bit, plus the constant temperature (like in a cool cave) is just the thing wine needs to mature. I would need to taste a bit of this Château d'Yquem 1789 found in the Mediterranean to confirm.
Posted by Yudith on 08/22/23 at 05:55 AM
The article says that the perps want to try again after getting permits, though given the breadth of charges I think it's unlikely they'll get them. Guy says, "the demand has never been higher." That's because there was zero demand before.
Posted by ges on 08/22/23 at 09:07 AM
I'm having trouble fathoming the value of the crud that "ultimately adorns" the bottles.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 08/22/23 at 10:47 AM
There have been other such experiments 's been interest in the concept for a few decades, but success has been subjective. To a large extent, it fits in the category of: "this is such a great idea, why can't we make it work?" It does make a difference. The problem is every wine is a little different and every location is a little different, so there's not nearly enough data to provide guidelines for what to sink where and for how long.

By all accounts, the wine put in the ocean near the Seven Sisters was significantly superior, but you had to be a passenger on a cruise/ferry to get any.
Posted by Phideaux on 08/22/23 at 11:34 AM
@Phideaux: just as well they didn't try that in Seven Sisters, London...
Posted by Richard Bos on 08/26/23 at 06:51 AM
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