This Wine Goes Well With Fish
By ALAN TARDI, New York Times
Published: August 23, 2011
BRILLIANT ideas sometimes arise out of pure necessity. Consider Piero Lugano, 63, the suntanned artist-turned-wine-merchant who opened a shop called Bisson in this town on the Italian Riviera in 1978.
有時候，酷炫的點子真的只是應需要而生罷了。不然看看63歲的Piero Lugano，這位有著古銅色皮膚、由藝術家搖身一變而成的酒商，在義大利維耶拉(Italian Riviera，以熱納亞為中心的地中海沿岸地帶)這個叫Chivari的小城開了名叫Bisson的酒店。
Not content merely to sell wine, he soon began making it. Ten years ago he decided to try producing sparkling wine from indigenous varieties grown in vineyards overlooking the Golfo Paradiso on the Mediterranean.
But he immediately encountered a problem: there was simply no space in his already cramped shop and winery to carry out the aging required to make a bottle-fermented sparkling wine in the classic method of Champagne. Then, as he recalled recently, “a light bulb went on in my head: I thought, why not put the wine under the sea?”
This might seem logical to someone like Mr. Lugano who has long struggled to reconcile his twin passions for vine and sea. To most everyone else, the idea of making wine underwater might seem a bit unusual.
對 Lugano 先生這樣一位長久以來勉力不懈地想調合其對釀酒與海洋的熱情的人來說，這似乎是個理所當然的辦法，至於對其他多
But Mr. Lugano makes an interesting argument: “It’s better than even the best underground cellar, especially for sparkling wine. The temperature is perfect, there’s no light, the water prevents even the slightest bit of air from getting in, and the constant counterpressure keeps the bubbles bubbly. Moreover, the underwater currents act like a crib, gently rocking the bottles and keeping the lees moving through the wine.” (The lees refer to yeast particles.)
It’s quite a creative solution to a space problem. But Italy is infamous for its labyrinthine bureaucracy. And the place he wanted to put the wine happened to be in the tightly controlled waters of a national marine preserve, the Area Marina Protetta di Portofino. So the odds would seem overwhelmingly against such a project.
Undaunted, Mr. Lugano ran the idea by a friend-with-a-friend at the Agriculture Ministry in Rome. Much to his surprise, his friend called back a week later; not only was it possible, the ministry thought it was a very cool idea. The next and most crucial step was to approach the local authorities.
但 Lugano 桑沒被嚇到，他輾轉把這點子送到位在羅馬的農業部以打探當局口風，大出他意料之外的，他的友人在一週之後就回電，告訴他不僅有機會實現，農業部還認為這是個很酷的點子。接下來，且更重要的，就是向當地政府叩關了。
In the winter of 2008, Mr. Lugano pitched his idea to a group at the Area Marina Protetta di Portofino that included the director, Giorgio Fanciulli, and a number of scientific advisers from the University of Genoa. “My first reaction,” Dr. Fanciulli said recently, “was: ‘No way! Our job is to prevent people from putting things in these waters, not help them.’
2008年冬天，Lugano 先生第一次向一群Portofino海域保育委員提出他的想法，其中包括主委Giorgio Fanciulli以及多位來自熱納亞大學的科學諮詢委員。「我的第一個反應」Fanciulli博士說:「是"免肖想"!我們的工作正是阻止人們把東西投到這片海域，可不是幫助他們反其道而行。」
“But when we discussed it in private, the young scientists were very excited. It would have zero impact on the fragile ecosystem and demonstrate our philosophy of a positive synergy between man and nature. We also thought it might promote our park and raise awareness of the need to protect our marine resources. I was convinced.”
The scientists did research to ensure no environmental impact and determine the ideal site to place the wine. On May 20, 2009, 6,500 bottles of wine from the 2008 vintage of Bianchetta and Vermentino grapes, made without adding sugar, in the traditional method known as pas dosè, were put in noncorrosive stainless-steel cages and lowered about 200 feet below the sea at a spot called Cala degli Inglesi.
這群科學家們於是做了調查，確保在海底釀酒不會對環境造成衝擊，並且選定了一處理想地點以儲放這些釀造中的酒。2009年5月20日，6500瓶用 Bianchetta 與 Vermentino葡萄、依傳統pas dosè方式不加糖釀造的2008年份新酒被放置在不受海水腐蝕不銹鋼籠中，被垂吊至海平面下200英呎一個名為Cala degli Inglesi的地點。
That the project had come this far was an amazing accomplishment, but would it be successful? “It was a big risk,” Mr. Lugano said. “No one had done this before, so we really didn’t know what would happen.”
When they went to retrieve the wine 13 months later, they found the bottles intact but transformed. Far from having a negative impact on the underwater environment, it was the sea that had had an impact on the bottles.
“When we began to lift the cages,” Mr. Lugano said, “all kinds of sea creatures came rushing out. Some remained.” The bottles were covered with algae, seaweed and barnacles, all of it carefully cleaned, dried and preserved on the bottle in a plastic sheath. (Some even had oysters, shrimp and starfish attached to them.)
More important, when the first bottle of the wine (christened Abissi, meaning depths in Italian) was opened for a celebratory toast, Mr. Lugano was, as he put it, “quite pleased.”
It’s easy to see why. When first poured, the bubbles come rushing up to the surface of the glass like sea foam at high tide, but then quickly relax into a fine perlage. The color is pale golden-yellow with greenish reflections, while the aroma suggests caramelized lemon peel and dried flower petals with hints of baked apple and allspice. On the palate it is surprisingly soft, leading into ripe, almost sweet, white peach followed by bracing acidity and a dry mineral finish.
This winter, the second edition of Abissi, made from the 2009 vintage and brought up from the sea on July 2, 2011, will be available in America for the first time through Bisson’s importer, Neil Rosenthal. (It has not been determined how many bottles will come to the United States or what the price will be.)
今年冬天，用2009年採收的葡萄釀造且在2011年7月2號從海中回收的第二版Abissi將頭一次，經由Bisson's 的進口商Neil Rosenthal，在美國上市。(數量與零售價格則未定)
Though bottle-fermented in the classic manner, Abissi should not be compared to Champagne. This is a typical Ligurian wine — lean, crisply acidic, minerally, almost salty — made of local varieties from vineyards conditioned by their proximity to the sea.
In fact, the earth where the vines grow was once under the sea. That this wine undergoes its crucial maturation under water brings the process full circle, giving the concept of terroir an even deeper, aqueous dimension.