Divers discover world’s oldest champagne
Baltic Sea (Global Adventures): Divers may have found the oldest and perhaps most expensive load of champagne on the bottom of the ocean. While exploring the remains of a 230-year-old shipwreck close to the Finnish Aland archipelago in the Baltic Sea, instructor Christian Elkstrom spotted several objects partially buried in the sand. The Swedish diver did hear about the wreck years ago. He dismissed the information fisherman from Finland provided since he thought the wreck was too small, too deep, and just not worth exploring. While he was unable to identify the wreck. A friend established that the sparkling vine must date back to around 1780, based on the kind of bottle used.
It was sitting on the ocean floor at the depth of 55 meters. Where there is constant temperature of four degrees Centigrade, and it is absolutely dark. It is the best storage conditions. Pressure inside the bottle remains unchanged, and prevents water and salt from getting into [the bottle]. Only sparkling wine can survive in salty water, said Carl Jan Granqvist. A restaurateur and wine expert, in an interview with the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
type of cork design used to seal the bottle indicates that the champagne originated most likely from the world-famous Veuve Clicquot brand, experts say. “The drink was of incredibly high quality. It was delicious, with small fine bubbles,” Elkstrom said in an interview with the Swedish-language newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet. “Last year a bottle of champagne from 1825 was opened, in the presence of prominent guests and the world’s top sommeliers. Imagine me standing in a boat and drinking champagne 230 years old.”
He says that perhaps 30 more bottles of the high-priced drink remain buried on the ocean floor. He believes that the find was part of a cargo shipment on its way from France to Russia.
According to local law, artifacts older than a century belong to the Finnish Aland archipelago. While estimates regarding the value of the champagne that circulate on the Internet vary widely from $68,000 to several million per bottle. It seems to be clear that it was the most expensive après-dive drink in history.
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