Treasure lost at sea has always been a popular theme of literature and movies. But this is nothing out of a writer’s imagination. When a group of divers went to the bottom of the Finnish Aland archipelago in the Baltic Sea, they weren’t expecting the treasure that awaited them – 168 bottles of 170-years-old champagne!
These bottles of champagne are any wine connoisseur’s dream. Once the bottles were discovered, it was easy to trace them through the engraving on their corks to the champagne houses they came from: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Heidsieck, and Juglar.
Here’s what it tastes like:
Fascination with the rare treasure led the scientists, Professor Philippe Jeandet from the University of Reims and his team, to crack open three of the bottles. They matched and compared the champagne’s chemical composition to that of the modern day bubbly.
The results surprised the researchers as for the most part the two champagnes divided by almost two centuries, were similar. The most noticeable difference was in the sugar content as the older beverage had over 20 times more sugar than modern champagne. The wine was also high in minerals and iron, the latter being associated using metal vessels in the making.
The most amazing and beneficial discovery in this adventure was that deep sea conditions are perfect for aging wine. Buried in water deeper than 100 feet, without light and blessed with a low temperature, these bottles of champagne were aged better than they could’ve been above sea. Many winemakers are already using technique and aging bottles of wine on seabeds.