Wine company aged 2,000 expensive bottles at the bottom of the ocean but were then forced to dump them

Originally published at: Wine company aged 2,000 expensive bottles at the bottom of the ocean but were then forced to dump them | Boing Boing


The problem — and this is a significant one — was that the company’s owners never received the proper permits from the California Coastal Commission or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which turned that “perfect environment” into an illegal one.

On top of that, the company sold the wine without a business license, without an ABC alcohol sales permit, and it was collecting taxes from each purchase without paying the required taxes to the state.

Some TechBro thought it up, but didn’t think it through.


Move fast and sink things




Even before all that, they’d need to pour one out for Poseidon first or the whole thing wouldn’t work. Oh, wait— that’s probably what happened.


Thinking it up, and thinking it through, are all too often mutually exclusive skills in TechBro land.

Probably because too many TechBros suffer from the same personality issues as Lone Skum - incapable of considering that anything they come up with might be flawed; they intensely dislike people who do think things through (and point out consequences and flaws), who are obviously not as clever as them and are clearly trying to thwart their genius.


“For your wiiine.” - Dr. Steve Brule

GIF by FirstAndMonday


Of course it’s “adulterated” … you have to be 21 to buy it!


Kind of baffled by what the Army Engineers have got to do with it.


Need their permission to create a structure in or on the ocean in US territorial waters. I assume they did something to secure the wine bottles where they left them, but didn’t secure the permit to build a structure on the ocean floor.


If the temperature is 55 degrees near the Channel Islands, the wine isn’t in very deep water. Which means that there almost certainly is some UV light contamination. According to NOAA’s website:

Light in the ocean decreases with depth, with minimal light penetrating between 200-1,000 meters (656-3,280 feet) and depths below 1,000 meters receiving no light from the surface.

I have no idea how much sound there is in the area where they were aging the wine, but sound travels much better underwater than through air. So this is another pretty dubious claim.

I poked around a bit to see if excess sound is bad for wine aging, and didn’t find much. However one site said to avoid “vibrations and movement” during aging. So now I’m wondering why it is good for the ocean current to be “gently turning the wine” inside the bottles. And speaking of that … the Ocean Fathoms website had a picture of them pulling the wine up from the ocean floor, and the bottles were in what looked like a pretty sturdy cage that was roughly 6 feet tall, and 4 feet square. I assume the cage sits on the ocean floor and really doesn’t rock much, if at all. So where is this supposed motion coming from?

This whole thing is, as the kids say, “sus”.


One set of laws they they certainly didn’t consider are the ones for marine salvage, especially if they didn’t place a marker buoy.


I am wondering if the wine was any good? If so then maybe someone with a clue could take the idea and move forward. There exists plenty of ocean in which to try things, as long as we do it smart. Clearly, clearly not these geniuses (genii?).


I honestly don’t see the point, other than maybe bragging rights. Seems a whole lot cheaper and easier to do it in a climate controlled room.


so long and thanks for all the wine!

Sexy Water GIF


Or like a cave, or if you don’t have one handy, some kind of cellar?


A wine cellar? That’ll never catch on.


It’s a gimmick, but given so much of the price variation for wine has little to do with the wine itself, it very well could have been successful gimmick.

The shell encrusted bottles certainly are eye catching…

Other companies are doing it. The benefits though seem to be faster aging (6 months vs. 2-3 years) and supposedly better taste if you believe the hype.

Why they thought they could sell alcohol to the public without even an ABC license is beyond me. That’s rather strictly enforced.

Edit: FDA seems to allow it now according to another article.


Or imagine going to a winery in say a chalk area and them fancifully talking of a visit to their caves? Wild idea.

Bottom of the sea it is.


Picking the right spot is important and I’d also say so is picking the right kind of container. If you put it in something opaque that will protect it from whatever light filters down.
And if you do it right it can last a very long time.