post.) The bottles, hand blown and dated to around the first decade of the 19th century, were pulled up from the wreckage of the ship they were being transported on and their contents caused a bit of a sensation. Not only were the glass bottles themselves in perfect condition, so was the bubbly inside them.
Now, according to this article from Yahoo! News, two of the bottles will be up for auction in June. The historical champagne is the property of the autonomous state of Aland and the government there plans to use the proceeds to fund maritime archaeology and the upkeep of the Baltic Sea environment. They should have no problem with such funding, at least for a while, given that experts are estimating the bottles will sell for $82,000 U.S. (or 500,000 Swedish krona) each. It’s interesting to note that this estimate is up $12,000 U.S. from the original made back in July of 2010.
Experts have tasted the champagne, from other bottles of course, and have some pleasant things to say about it. The bottles up for sale are from two different champagne houses; one is Veuve Cliquot and the other Juglar, a French distiller that the article says “…closed its doors in the early 19th century”. The Veuve is said to be “… more mushrooms” in taste while the Juglar is “…sweet,” with “secondary flavors” of “leather… tobacco [and] dried fruit”. Obviously, very complex indeed. The sommeliers also opine that being in the dark and decidedly cold environment 150 feet under Baltic waters allowed the champagnes to age to their current pallet.
And there you have it, Brethren; your chance to own a little piece of history from a time when pirates and privateers plied the waters of the world and champagne was just one of their sweet rewards. In this case, if you’ve the money to spend, you can have your booty and drink it too.
Header: Champagne Ruinart by Alphonse Mucha