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Science & Technology

Scientists sample 170-year-old champagne

By T.K. Randall
April 21, 2015 · Comment icon 8 comments

The champagne survived 170 years at the bottom of the sea. Image Credit:
Bottles of the aged delicacy had been retrieved from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
Would you drink a glass of champagne that had been sitting underwater for the last 170 years ? This was the task put to researchers in France recently after 168 bottles of the sparkling vintage were retrieved from a wreck off the coast of Finland.

Those of the team who were brave enough to sample the drink described it as super-sweet with aromas of leather, tobacco and smoke. Biochemist Philippe Jeandet described how even the smallest whiff of it had stayed with him for several hours.
Normally bottles of wine will never last as long as these did but in this case the 19th century vintage had remained in a well-preserved state thanks to the near-freezing temperatures of the sea floor.

The wooden corks had also remained in one piece due to the presence of liquid on both sides and because they had been designed to withstand the pressure of the bottles' carbonated contents.

"Most wine will degrade because the cork degrades to the point where it no longer seals the bottle," said Prof Andrew Waterhouse. "When you get to 50 years or older, it gets riskier and riskier."

The fact that so many of the bottles survived for so long in fact is nothing short of incredible.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (8)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Father Merrin 8 years ago
It was a brave man that popped the cork and glugged that down!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Zalmoxis 8 years ago
I'm not much of a champagne aficionado but I can appreciate the rarity of the occasion to taste the bubbly of 2 centuries past.
Comment icon #3 Posted by bubblykiss 8 years ago
High Fluting scientists always drinking their bubbly from 1845 and lording over me with math and science and their degrees from actual colleges not The Steve Jones Skool of Practical Englesh fully accredited by The Bob Ryan Instatuden for Accrediting The Steve Jones Skool of Practical Englesh.
Comment icon #4 Posted by She-ra 8 years ago
Oh I guess this is better than tasting the 170 year-old beer that tasted like goat Cool stuff Still Waters. Thanks!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Silver Surfer 8 years ago
I bet it was better then the mass produced crap they give us these days.
Comment icon #6 Posted by maximusnow 8 years ago
I wonder how they mashed the grapes back in those days, wait I remember....nasty
Comment icon #7 Posted by xxxdemonxxx 8 years ago
They should analyze it and find out the exact ingredients. Maybe they could learn something that they didn't know, or debunk a few theories pertaining to how some wines were made back then. Then make the wine and distribute it.
Comment icon #8 Posted by astralwitch 8 years ago
Oh wow, thats pretty neat!

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