Electrifying And Burying Under Sea: 7 Wine Age Techniques You Probably Didn’t Know About
We all know aged wine is considered the finest. But how does this ageing take place? Winemakers from around the world have for many years successfully aged their wines in expensive oak barrels to achieve a fine product. But the wine evolution has seen many experimentations when it comes to wine ageing, some of them were thought to be essential and some were coined as bizarre. We’re acquainting you with some of the most unusual methods:
Clay Vessel Ageing
Georgians used Qvevri, Romans used Amphorae and Spanish used Tinaja. These are terracotta, clay vessels used to ferment, store and age wine. It’s believed that the wines that were aged in the earth’s womb were delicious and flavourful.
Qvevri is a pure terracotta red clay Georgian vessel which was used for wine ageing 8000 years ago preceding Greco-Roman winemaking traditions. A Qvevri was completely buried in the ground and was used for fermentation and storage of wine. The wine received stable temperatures as the vessels were completely immersed in the ground.The quality and proportion of clay and water of the Qvevri are as important as the firing techniques. The vessels should be between 100 to 4000 litres and some discovered measure between 8000 to 10000 litres. Qvevri’s were sterilised with lime and re-coated with beeswax and re-used.
Amphorae was discovered 6000 years ago. It is a clay vessel with a handle and a neck. Romans used it to ferment and age wine. Over the years, it was also used for storage and transportation. They came in different sizes, the 39-litre one being the most common. . Some modern winemakers are using Amphorae to age wine nowadays too
Spanish winemakers used these clay vessels inspired by the Roman Amphora. It was a cheaper wine ageing technique compared to the oak ageing today. ome producers in La Mancha, Valdepenas and Montilla-Moriles use Tinajas till this date
It reads right, here the wine is stored in trenches under the sea. It is believed that such an ageing process lends a unique taste to the wine, which isn’t possible to achieve on land (when aged for a similar time period). . Research suggests that the wine submerged under the sea at 60 to 100 ft. is in controlled temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees celsius and no interaction of light and oxygen with high pressure makes the wine taste complex.. Some people do consider this a marketing gimmick.
A chemist in China called Xin An Zeng took some bad wine and passed it through a current of 1000 volts to enhance its flavours and he says it works. Further experiments suggest that young acidic wines can be rapidly aged to more mellow and aromatic wines through this electrocution wine ageing technique.
An English-man named Ian Hutcheon is behind the so-called cosmic wine, Meteorito. Cabernet Sauvignon aged with a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter which landed on earth 6000 years ago. It is 2010 vintage. The wine is from his vineyard in the Cachapoal Valley, Chile. He believes that the wine gets livelier with meteor ageing and is an opportunity for people to drink this wine and with it drink the elements from the solar system’s birth. Around 10,000 litres of Meteorito wine was made. Truly, an out-of-the- world wine.