A bottle of wine that glows like lava!

October 22, 2020

A bottle of wine that glows like lava!

We were checking out some sea-aged wines this weekend in Kefelonia, Greece. We went to the famous Foivos winery in Lixouri towards the east of this amazing sleepy island. Theodore - the gentile, happy, quiet master of wine making - showcased all of his wines and we tasted through the ones destined for U.K markets (as decided between winemaker and wine importer through intense wine-fuelled business talks!) 

                

Sea aging is a time-consuming, labourious and expensive process requiring divers to tend and check the wines; taking a sample each year for Theodore to try and decide when it is ready. Placed at a depth of 22m below sea level, this is the optimum pressure for the wine ensuring that it is sealed (keeping the wine in!), doesn’t leak (keeping the sea water out!), maintained an almost constant temperature (+/- O.5 deg.) and remains in the dark to avoid UV damage. The result is a truely astounding wine that is lively, vibrant and fresh like a newly bottled wine, but imparts some deeply complex and subtle flavours and notes that hard truely hard to describe. All of these more subtle elements come from the sea aging of course, and your imagination really runs away as you try and decipher the wines code. We noticed some salinity, some flavours of organic sea compounds and fleshy seabed vegetation. You can also find hints of chalk/ calcium from the development of crustations around the bottles as they lie in their cage on the seabed. Particularly, looking at the bottle of single variety Muscatel below, when you have a clam that decides to live on the neck of the bottle for a few years, leave it’s shell attached when the wine is exhumed, you can’t help but think the little guy has improved your wine just that little bit more! 

It is appropriate that from the nation of seafarers with the largest merchant navy in the world, and the country of origin for great tales of the sea such as Odesious’ Odyssey, that there are wines created here in perfect harmony with the sea, the old, reliable, omnipresent friend of the Greeks. Odesious, as the ancient king of Ithaca and modern day Cephalonia, would be proud of his progeny who produce wines today that are fitting for the tables great and ancient kings of mythology!

        




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