Underwater-Aged Wine from Napa

How does a glass of ocean-aged cabernet sound to you?

THE NEXT WAVE: You only need to have dipped a single toe into the waters of wine-tasting to know the importance of barrels and casks and storage and temperature and bung material and aging techniques. In fact, all of these things are often discussed with more fervor than the liquid in question. Now Mira Winery of St. Helena is throwing a fresh aging process into the mix, though perhaps "fresh" isn't quite the right word. People have been sticking casks and jugs and bottles filled with their favorite libations into cool water for centuries, so what Mira is now doing is rather time-honored in addition to being a bit adventurous. Yep, the winery is going the putting-wine-in-water route, but here's where the story gets a wee bit more interesting: That water is in Charleston Harbor.

AS IN THE CHARLESTON: On Wednesday, Feb. 20, divers will place four cases of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon beneath the waves near the historic North Carolina burg. And there the cab shall stay for three months, at which time it shall be lifted out and tasted. And what are the sippers looking for? Differences between warehouse storage and Atlantic Ocean storage.

ANCIENT INSPIRATION: Consider the times you've heard about wine being found in very old shipwrecks, and how experts deem the drink still tasty. That's the start of some of the thinking behind the process.

FOLLOW ALONG: Mira will be tweeting about its Atlantic adventure, and what the ultimate results are. If you can't wait to try ocean-aged wine, and want to make for Napa Valley sooner, here's what's going on around the region.

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