When I was a kid, I was intrigued by the metal detector commercial that always ran during cartoons. You all know the one I’m talking about. The pudgy guy who says, “She’s proud of all the weight I’ve lost.” That line, to me, competes for cheesiest commercial line ever, but it wasn’t enough to throw me off the scent of gold bullion lying just beneath the surface of my backyard. The dream eventually faded after digging massive holes in the yard and coming up with nothing, but I’m still captivated with the idea of buried treasure.
You expect to hear about coins, skeletons, and bottles, but fine beverage? Yes friends, some Swedish divers, while exploring a wreck about 200 feet down in the Baltic Sea, found 30 bottles of Champagne. The fizzy stuff is believed to date back to 1780 and was part of cargo headed to those boozehounds, the Russians (one theory is that the Champagne was part of a consignment to Peter the Great sent by King Louis XVI).
The lack of harmful UV rays of light and the constant, cool temperatures of the seabed have made for perfect resting grounds, acting as a natural cellar for the Champagne.
Of course, the divers popped the cork on one of them for quality assurance. It was good and the most expensive thing they’ll ever drink in their lives. “It tasted fantastic. It was a very sweet champagne, with a tobacco taste and oak.” — Christian Ekstrom, diving instructor.The remaining bottles, once authenticated, could fetch up to $70,000 each.
Guess I should start training a Master Sommelier to scuba dive. After all, they do have a nose for wine.
For more information on this rare fine beverage shipwreck salvage, check out the report by the Associated Press.