Shall we crack open the 350AD vintage?

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Historians debate whether to open ‘world’s oldest bottle of wine’

Source: Daily Mail

By Allan Hall

10th December 2011

Historians in Germany are debating whether or not to open what is believed to be the world’s oldest bottle of wine.

The 1,650-year-old bottle, sealed with wax and containing a white liquid, has been on display at the Pfalz Historical Musuem for more than a century.

The wine, believed to have been produced locally, was buried with a Roman noble near the German city of Speyer in 350AD. It was discovered in 1867 and analysed by the Kaiser’s chemists during the First World War.

The museum’s wine department curator Ludger Tekampe said: ‘We are not sure whether or not it could stand the shock to the air. It is still liquid.’

Wine professor Monika Christmann said: ‘Micro-biologically it is probably not spoiled, but it would not bring joy to the palate.’

Ludger Tekampe, the wine department curator of the museum, said; ‘We are not sure whether or not it could stand the shock to the air.

‘It is still liquid and there are some who believe it should be subjected to new scientific analysis but we are not sure.

‘I have personally held the bottle twice in my hand during renovations. That was an amazing feeling.’

A splash of olive oil and a seal of hot wax has kept the white wine liquid down all the 602,000-plus days since it was made.

The Pfalz is one of Germany’s top winegrowing regions and the wine that the Roman nobleman had with him in the grave was almost certainly produced nearby.