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02.2012

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnWineReport

OPEN NO WINE BEFORE ITS TIME

So, just how long should one wait to open the world’s oldest bottle of wine? What’s the perfect occasion? Historians in Germany are debating whether or not to open a 165O-year-old bottle, believed to be the world’s oldest wine. Sealed with wax and containing a white liquid, it has been on display at the Pfalz Historical Museum for more than a century. The wine, believed to have been produced near the Pfalz region, was buried with a Roman noble near the German city of Speyer in 35OAD. It was discovered in 1867 and analyzed by the Kaiser’s chemists during the First World War. The museum’s wine department curator Ludger Tekampe said, “We are not sure whether or not it could stand the shock to the air. It is still liquid.” He added, “I have personally held the bottle twice in my hand during renovations. That was an amazing feeling.” Wine professor Monika Christmann said, “Micro-biologically it is probably not spoiled, but it would not bring joy to the palate.” A splash of olive oil and a seal of hot wax have kept the white wine liquid down since it was made.

But opening the wine has several downsides: if it’s exquisite, you can never get anymore. If it’s skunked, you can’t send it back!

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