We’ve talked about children and wine education before. And recently about divers finding old wine under the sea. So I was surprised to stumble on a reference in a book I was reading to my kids the other day, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, by Dan Yaccarino.
“When diving in the waters near France,” Yaccarino writes, “Cousteau and his crew found a sunken ship full of wine jars over 2,200 years old! They tasted the wine. Alas, it was bitter.”
My seven-year-old son thought it was cool to taste something outrageously old, even if it was “bitter.” (Apparently, Cousteau’s comment at the time was that it was “a poor vintage.”) Here’s the same 1952 discovery in another book, for grown-ups:
“[Cousteau] checked his depth gauge. Two hundred and fifty feet. … He tripped his reserve valve to give himself an extra five minutes. … And there it was. Looking like an object in a museum … an amphora lay half buried on the slope in front of him. With the last measure of his strength, Cousteau pulled the amphora free of the bottom.”
Funny we get the tasting notes in the kids’ book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any video from on-board the Calypso. But I’m sure it was captured in the ABC series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.”