Record price for old champagne found in Baltic Sea
A bottle of rare champagne salvaged from an old shipwreck in the Baltic Sea was sold Friday at an auction in Finland's semi-autonomous Aland Islands for 30,000 euros (43,500 dollars) , dpa reported.
The bottle of Veuve Clicquot, believed to be from the 1840s, was one of 145 champagne bottles found by a team of divers last summer in the northern archipelago.
The bid could set a new record, according to Acker Merrall & Condit auction house, who conducted the sale in the town of Mariehamn. The previous record was 42,000 dollars.
A second bottle found on the shipwreck, containing champagne from the discontinued Juglar label, fetched a price of 24,000 euros.
Both winning bids were placed on the internet. The money is to go towards maritime history and environmental projects in the island group, located between Sweden and Finland.
In November, two of the old bottles were opened and sampled by experts including Swedish champagne connoisseur Richard Juhlin, who described the taste as "wonderful". Juhlin is reputed to have tasted 7,000 different champagnes.
The consistent water temperature and light levels at the depth of the wreck - some 50 metres below the surface - have helped preserve the champagne.
Experts are still trying to determine the identity of the ship, which some believe was headed for Russia and the court of the czar