Monday, November 11, 2013
Charleston is among seven cities nationwide to host a select wine tasting as part of an experiment with wine aged in the ocean. Napa-based Mira Winery, the first North American winery to experiment with aging wine in the ocean, will stage the blind taste testing on Nov. 6. The Charleston event is the first stop on the seven-city, seven-day wine tasting tour.
The wine tasting will be limited to 15 individuals from the Charleston area, including wine and culinary experts, restaurant partners, Mira Wine Club members and local participants selected through Mira’s Facebook page. The participants will blindly taste the ocean-aged wine and the same wine aged on land, providing feedback.
The wine tasting tour is the culmination of Phase I of Mira’s experiment in which four cases of the winery’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon were recovered in May after three months of ocean aging off the Charleston coast. This process was coined “Aquaoir” by Mira, paralleling the impacts of the land-based environment on grapes, an industry recognized term called “Terroir.” More information on Aquaoir is available at www.aquaoir.com.
“I am looking forward to adding to what we have learned from this experiment, and letting others judge whether or not Aquaoir might create a more complex and broad vintage, a more open and relaxed wine,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, head Winemaker for Mira Winery. “We still have a great deal to learn about this innovative method for aging wine which is why the next phase of our experimentation is so important.”
“The exceptional quality of grapes and the depth of our winemaker allow us to produce an exceptional portfolio of wines. And if the initial promise of Aquaoir continues to bear out, the lessons learned will force the entire wine industry to rethink how wine is aged on land,” said Jim “Bear” Dyke, Jr., Mira Winery president.
The national taste testing tour coincides with the launch of Phase II of the experiment on Nov. 6 when Mira will age twice as much wine for twice as long in custom-built cages - eight cases of the winery’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon for six months. Each cage will be submerged by divers 60 feet below the water off the coast of Charleston with gauges to measure the ocean’s effects on major elements of the wine aging process including temperature, humidity, pressure, motion, light - or lack thereof - and oxygen.
The national tasting tour includes Charleston; Washington, D.C. (Nov. 7); New York, N.Y. (Nov. 8); Palm Beach, Fla. (Nov. 9); Little Rock, Ark. (Nov.10); San Francisco, Calif. (Nov. 11); and Los Angeles, Calif. (Nov. 12). Those interested in being selected to participate can register at www.facebook.com/MiraWinery. Mira wines are available for purchase at www.miranapa.com.