'From the Sea Emerges a Legend': Chesapeake Wine and Spirits Introduces a Chilean Wine Aged at Ocean Depths

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“Del mar emerge una leyenda” is the Spanish tagline for Cavas Submarinas, a Chilean wine with a unique twist…it is the only wine in the world that is cellared in the ocean, and Chesapeake Wine and Spirits in Chesapeake City, Maryland, will feature this wine at a July 15th tasting to kick off their summer wine tasting series.

Imagine sitting in a fine seaside restaurant on the Pacific. You order a bottle of wine, but instead of going to the cellar to fetch it, the sommelier dons a wetsuit. He dives into the sparkling ocean, emerges with a bottle, and comes back to your table to open it, dripping wet. Sound far-fetched? Not on the coast of Chile -- in fact, a tourist industry is building around an ocean-aged wine called Cavas Submarinas, which is stored beneath the sea off the South American coast.

Don’t expect divers in wetsuits when ordering wine here on the Chesapeake Bay, but you can sample Cavas Submarinas in Chesapeake City, Maryland, where it will be featured in a July 15th wine tasting at Chesapeake Wine and Spirits (CWS) from 1 to 4 pm.

Cavas Submarinas not only has an interesting background,” said Debbie Ladwig, general manager at CWS, “It also has a different taste -- one that I think our customers will enjoy. We’re looking forward to having the distributor here for our first wine tasting of the season to explain how the wine is cellared and give us a history of it.”

Joe Schatz, sales representative and tasting specialist for Lanterna Wine Company of Baltimore, will be on hand at the wine tasting to give an overview of the Cavas line, which consists of a Muscat Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noire.

“The most unusual thing about the wine is the way it’s aged,” explained Schatz. “They sink containers of bottles along the coastline at specific depths, from 10 to 30 meters. The pressure of the ocean and cool temperatures keeps the wine fresh -- it’s really the perfect cellar.”

Cavas wines are aged beneath the waves anywhere from six months to a year. According to the Vina Casanueva winery website, the constant submarine temperature of 8°C, and the unique combination of ocean pressure, luminosity and movement lend specific characteristics to the wine, giving it “a roundness, a more Champaign-like flavor.”

The Cavas Submarinas tasting will be the first of the summer series of tastings at CWS, and a chance for people to experience something quite unique.

“It’s a fun way to kick off the summer -- with a splash, so to speak,” said Ladwig. CWS will also be featuring Bogle wines on July 22nd, and Porta wines on July 29th, with more to come throughout the summer.

“We have tastings every Saturday from 1-4 pm,” she said, “And we like to bring in the reps and other knowledgeable people in to answer questions and explain things…we want to inform people on the choices they have and make it fun to come down and try different varieties.”

For more information on the wine tastings and other events at CWS, call them at 410-885-5858.

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Debbie Ladwig