Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Monday, July 19, 2010



Today's blog comes from an unlikely location; a barren spot 200 feet below the surface of the murky BALTIC SEA. Here, near the remote ALAND ISLANDS between the shores of Sweden and Finland, a team of divers were investigating a sunken vessel. To their delight, the boat turned out to be much older than expected. Just like in a million 'Popeye' cartoons or 'James Bond' movies, the curious divers pried apart the wooden hull and discovered a long forgotten cargo. Although most items had deteriorated beyond recognition, a number of cartons were perfectly intact. Once finally hauled to the surface, everyone was amazed to find they contained two dozen bottles of champagne!

The thirsty crew wasted no time in uncorking a bottle, as it was already perfectly chilled to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. It was delicious! Or, as the diving crew captain CHRISTIAN EKSTROM put it: "It tasted fantastic. It was a sweet champagne, with a tobacco taste and oak, with overtones of yellow raisins." Once ashore, the precious cargo was taken away from the rowdy divers and examined by experts. It turns out the champagne hails from the CLIQUOT winery in Southwestern France, bottled around the year 1780. It was then shipped on a boat of unknown origin to St. Petersburg for the thirsty Russian aristocracy. The ship must have sank in one of the notorious storms that occasionally ravage the beastly Baltic. (NOTE: A French tabloid said it could be part of gift sent from French King LOUIS XVI to Russian czar PETER THE GREAT.)

So...you're asking...Is this REALLY the oldest bottles champagne on earth? Certainly, some French dude MUST have an older one. Nope! Prior to yesterday, the oldest champagne on earth was a 1825 bottle of PERRIER-JOULET. A new record has been set! And champagne enthusiasts have their mouths watering at the chance to taste it. But they'll have to wait. The bottles are now in a laboratory in France, where they are being examined. If the corks are reasonably intact, and the permanently cold Baltic waters served as a good enough wine cellar, the bottles will go up for sale.

Sorry, Schlaep. They are expected to cost $100,000 for EACH BOTTLE!

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