Monday, November 7, 2011

Shipwrecked Vintage Champagne sells for $78,400

Two bottles of vintage champagne, salvaged from a shipwreck in 2007, have been sold at an auction for an astonishing $78, 400. The Veuve and Juglar are believed to be the oldest vintage champagne bottles in the world and set an auction world record. The Singaporean-based bidder remains anonymous so there’s no chance of gate crashing his New Year’s Eve party. Need not despair as there will be no shortage of non vintage champagne on the ‘booze’ Thames cruises London has to offer, or at any other New Year’s Eve celebration in the world for that matter. For that price, a bar could stock their fridge with over 5000 bottles of non vintage Moet et Chandon for their New Year’s celebrations.

The salvaged vintage bottles were part of a batch found on a shipwrecked schooner in the Baltic Sea, believed to have sunk between 1825 and 1830. Surfacing the bottles caused some corks to pop and when one brave diver took a swig and found the contents drinkable, he skipped the formality of using vintage champagne glasses and used plastic beakers to share the find with his team, before taking it to a local sommelier.

According to experts, the ocean floor proved to be the perfect cellar. The bottles lay horizontally in the dark, under a constant pressure and at low temperatures, preserving the bottles far beyond your average vintage champagne years. Even though wine experts have estimated the vintage champagnes to be around 200 years old, the Veuve had notes of ‘linden blossoms and lime peels’. Not bad for something you would expect to taste like old seawater.

The original destination of the vintage champagne can only be speculated but one diver suggested it may have been en route to the tsar’s court in Russia’s capital, considering the value of the luxurious champagne. The Aland region, the Finish-controlled archipelago where the vintage champagnes were auctioned, stated that the proceeds of the sale would contribute to the cleaning up of the heavily polluted seas surrounding Aland. As the spokesperson for the Aland government said, “This champagne came from the sea so it is only right that the money goes back to the sea.”

So whether you’re sipping on the best vintage champagne atop a skyscraper in Singapore or enjoying the bubbles on a New Years Eve Thames cruise, make sure you see the New Year in with good resolutions, good friends and a crisp bottle of bubbly chilling on ice.

Dave Tucker is an avid writer in all things new and interesting.