BUBBLY IN THE BALCTIC
Who needs fancy wine cellars? Apparently the ocean works perfectly to preserve vintage bubbly. Divers recently discovered what is thought to be the world’s oldest drinkable champagne in a shipwreck 2OO-feet down in the Baltic Sea near the Aland Islands, between Sweden and Finland. Diving instructor Christian Ekstrom said the bottles are believed to be Veuve Clicquot from the 178Os and probably were part of a cargo headed for Russia. So excited were the divers that they popped open a bottle to toast their discovery! “It tasted fantastic. It was a very sweet champagne, with a tobacco taste and oak,’’ Ekstrom said. About 3O bottles were believed to be aboard and samples were sent to laboratories in France for testing. According to Swedish wine expert Carl-Jan Granqvist, each bottle could fetch $68,OOO if the corks are intact and the champagne is genuine and drinkable. The champagne survived due to near-perfect storage conditions – in the dark at a constant cold temperature. If validated, this would break the existing record of the 1825 Perrier-Jouet vintage as the oldest recorded champagne in existence.