Divers find oldest champagne in Baltic wreck
A group of divers exploring a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea have found bottles containing what is thought to be the oldest drinkable champagne in the world, made in the late 18th century. "I picked up one champagne bottle just so we could find the age of the wreck, because we didn't find any name or any details that would have told us the name of the ship," diver Christian Ekstrom from Aland told Reuters today.
Ekstrom and his Swedish diving colleagues opened the bottle and tasted the contents.
"It was fantastic... it had a very sweet taste, you could taste oak and it had a very strong tobacco smell. And there were very small bubbles," he said.
Experts said the shape of the bottle showed it was from the late 18th century, and the bottle and its contents have been sent to champagne specialists in France to be analysed.
"We are 98 per cent sure that it is Veuve Clicquot champagne and that it was probably (made) between 1772 (the year the business was established) and 1785," Ekstrom said, adding that the cargo vessel was probably sailing to St Petersburg, then the capital of Russia.
He said they had found the wine on their first dive and did not yet know how many bottles the wreck contained or what other cargo it carried.
The current title of the world's oldest champagne is held by Perrier-Jouet, which has two bottles from 1825.
Richard Juhlin, a Swedish champagne specialist, told the newspaper Alandstidningen he believed the champagne was Veuve Cliquot and said that if it was from the late 18th century, it could cost around 500,000 Swedish crowns ($68,000) a bottle.
Because the wreck lies off Aland, an autonomous part of Finland, the local authorities will decide what will be done with the wreck - and the champagne.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...