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US Authorities nix underwater wine maturation

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US Authorities nix underwater wine maturation

Sat, 25/04/2015 - 14:09
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US Wineries will have to scuttle plans to age their wines under the sea after American authorities have given the practice the thumbs down on the grounds that contamination cannot be precluded.

Aging wine in a way that bottle seals have contact with sea or ocean waters may render these wines adulterated

We have previously reported on wine being aged on the seabed such as when our reporters Larry Cohen and Olga Torrey went to Cala Joncols in Spain and had a taste for themselves. Their report can be found on the link below.

Meanwhile in the US, The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), after consulting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), declared that underwater aging was a contravention of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

"Aging wine in a way that bottle seals have contact with sea or ocean waters may render these wines adulterated under the FD&C Act, in that they have been held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or may have been rendered injurious to health," a statement said.

It is TBB's concern that in addition to the one atmosphere of pressure for every ten meters of depth at which a wine is a aged; this pressure may periodically increase or decrease due to tidal flow and storm surges. Overpressure on bottle seals increases the likelihood of seepage of sea or ocean water into the product.

As a result, variation in overpressure during tidal flows and storms would allow the bottles to “breathe,” or exchange contents of the bottle with the sea or ocean, as the bottle tries to equilibrate its internal pressure to the external sea pressure, and chemical and biological contaminants in ocean water may contaminate the wine.

Sources
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
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