After they brought the bottles of champagne to the surface, they opened one and tasted the wine. They suddenly realized that they were drinking champagne that was more than 100 years old.
But recently, a team of scientists wanted to understand what the bottles really contained. If the 170 year old champagne was similar in taste to the ones we have today.
For five years, the scientists have tested the drink to find out its chemical composition and to discover what it tastes like.
They found out that the champagne, which was produced in the 19th century, was similar in taste to the modern champagnes.
Philippe Jeandet, a scientist at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France and one of the researchers involved in the study, explained that he and his colleagues initially believed that the 170 year old champagne would have a different chemical composition that the modern wines.
But Jeandet said that following numerous studies, the scientists discovered that the champagne was actually very similar to today’s wines.
Jeandet and his colleagues detailed the findings of their champagne study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
The researchers compared the chemical composition collected from three different champagnes rescued from the shipwreck found on the bottom the sea.
According to the experts, the drinks were made sometime around 1840 and 1841. The scientists compared the old champagne with three samples of Veuve Clicquot produced in 1955, 1980 and one from 2011.
The researchers who studied the champagne did not know too many details about the sunken ship, like where it came from, where it was sailing to or when exactly did it sink off the coast of Finland.
This lack of information made it difficult for the scientists to determine the origin and the age of the champagne, which didn’t have any labels on. But after analyzing the engravings of the corks, the team found that the champagne was produced by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Juglar and Heidsieck.
Because it rested on the bottom of the sea for more than 170 years, the champagne had perfect storage conditions, like complete darkness and a optimal temperature of about 2 to 4 degrees.
After analyzing the old champagnes, the researchers found that it had more sugar than the modern ones, reflecting the taste of the Europeans champagne drinkers of those times.
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