Two bottles of 200-year-old champagne that were recovered from a shipwreck earlier this summer were uncorked and offered to 100 journalists and experts at a tasting at Finland’s island province of Aaland yesterday.
It wasn’t until they opened and recorked them yesterday that experts were able to confirm that there are 2 different labels of champagne: Veuve Clicquot and Juglar, a house that went out of business in the early 1800s.
It has lost most of its fizz, sadly, but retains its sweetness (champagnes at that time used a brain-freeze inducing 100 grams of sugar in each bottle; a bottle of Veuve today has 9 grams of sugar) and the flavor imparted by the oak casks it was kept in before bottling.
As the contents were poured into rows of waiting glasses, the aroma was more pungent than any modern wine or champagne: a thick, nose-wrinkling bouquet that could be smelled several metres away.
More at the History Blog.