Oldest drinkable champagne in world recovered from shipwreck

Oldest drinkable champagne in world recovered from shipwreck

ALAND, Finland - Divers have salvaged several bottles of champagne from a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea, thought to be the oldest drinkable champagne in the world.

The unique discovery was made earlier this year at the site of a shipwreck from the 18th century off Aland, an autonomous part of Finland.

Onboard the shipwreck, the divers found bottles made in the late 18th century.

"This box that we just brought, up which is the first real box I would say with 12 bottles in it, seems okay," said diver Christian Ekstrom. "Some of the corks are broken, but it's liquid coming out of the bottles, so it seems fine."

After the divers retrieved some of the bottles in July, Ekstrom was one of the lucky few to be allowed to taste the contents.

He said the champagne, believed to be from the 1780s, "tasted fantastic" and said the newly brought up bottles had the same scent.

"The smell from one of the bottles is exactly as the first bottle we brought up now two months ago," he said.

Ekstrom said he was "98 percent sure" of the champagne's age, having conferred with experts.

The current title of the world's oldest champagne is held by Perrier-Jouet, which has two bottles from 1825.

The diving team found the wine on their first dive and did not yet know how many bottles the wreck contained or what other cargo it carried.

Because the wreck lies off Aland, an autonomous part of Finland, the local authorities will decide what will be done with the wreck - and the champagne.