Image borrowed from The Independent.
This past weekend, while divers were exploring a shipwreck in the in Baltic Sea, they discovered what may possibly be the oldest bottles of drinkable Champagne. It’s reported they found 30 bottles of champagne. These bottles are thought to pre-date the French Revolution, and were perfectly preserved at a depth of 180 feet.
Diving instructor Christian Ekstrom found the Champagne, which is believed to be from the 1780s. He retrieved one bottle from a depth of 200 feet, and opened it on his way back to shore, saying it was still bubbly and sweet.
According to OhLaLaMag.com
The bottle – whose shape indicates it was produced in the 18th Century – has now been sent to France for analysis. If confirmed, it would be the oldest drinkable champagne in the world. The wine found on the seabed was perfectly preserved because of the conditions of dark and cold on the seabed and they are 98 percent certain it is Veuve Clicquot.
It’s thought to possibly be part of a consignment sent by King Louis XVI to the czar of the Russian Imperial Court. Veuve Clicquot has a record of a delivery that never reached its destination, and this wreckage found could possibly be that lost shipment.
Imagine, a Champagne meant for a king, and Christian Ekstrom pops a cork?
It’s estimated by experts that if this is the wine made between 1782 and 1788, each bottle would get about $69,000 at auction.
Independent.co.uk, story by John Lichfield in Paris:
A local wine expert, Ella Gruessner Cromwell-Morgan, was asked to test one of the bottles by the diving team. She said it tasted “absolutely fabulous” – although sweet by modern standards – and had lost none of its fizz. “I still have a glass in my fridge and keep going back every five minutes to take a breath of it. I have to pinch myself to believe it’s real.”
Ms Cromwell-Morgan said the champagne was dark golden in colour and smelled of tobacco, but also grape and white fruits, oak and mead. “It is really surprising, very sweet but still with some acidity,” she said.
And, this guy popped the cork!
What would you have done?
In light of this story, the Champagne Bureau is offering tips to help ensure your bubbly also withstands the test of time.
Aging – Although Champagne has already reached maturity by the time it is released, you can successfully store it for years in your own home. Make sure that your bottles are kept in a cool, dark place (like a shipwreck!).
Chilling – We recommend keeping the bottle cool, ideally between 45-50 degrees. When you are ready to enjoy it, serve the Champagne well-chilled. A Champagne bottle usually reaches its ideal temperature after twenty minutes in a bucket filled with ice and water.
Opening– Start by cutting the foil and undoing the wire cage, with the bottle pointed away from your face. Always hold the cork in one hand and gently twist the bottle with the other. You will feel the cork easing out.
The right time to drink Champagne – It’s always the right time to enjoy Champagne. Real Champagne only comes from Champagne, France!
For more information about the Champagne Bureau, contact Shira Levy at (202)777-3516, or [email protected]
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