Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What Does 170-Year-Old Champagne Taste Like?

In 2010, divers rescued cases of old alcohol, including champagne, from a shipwreck off the coast of Finland. Philippe Jeandet, a professor in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Reims performed a series of chemical analyses on them. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The champagne contained about 3 times as much sugar as today's vintages because people preferred sweet wines in those days. The bottles also contained high levels of iron and copper. The explanation is that iron nails were used in the making of fermentation barrels and copper sulphate was applied to vines to protect them from fungal disease.
Apparently the champagne smelled like wet hair and cheese until it was given a swirl. After swirling the glass the wine became oxygenated and the aroma improved enough to fetch $32,000 for a bottle sold in 2011, while another sold in 2012 for $16,000.

More: Gizmodo

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