Feb 122018
 

The Historic Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, Germany, is home to the oldest unopened bottle of wine in the world. The content of the Speyer wine bottle remained remarcably untouched for 1,693 years.

oldest wine bottle

Römerwein von Speyer – world’s oldest wine bottle (pic: CAROLE RADDATO)

The one-and-a-half-liter sealed vessel, which is also called Römerwein aus Speyer, was appareently buried in the tomb of a Roman noble dicovered near Speyer in 1867. Researchers estimate it dates back to 325 AD.

The wine was most likely made from local grapes that were planted during the Roman times. There are other plants whose identity has not been revealed, probably used for taste or preservation. The liquid inside can not really be called wine as it looks more like a mixture of a solid, dark mass and a whitish liquid, according to the photograph. However, even the survival of this residue is unprecedented.

It is a bottle that was hermetically closed with a hot wax seal and a thick layer of olive oil that prevented evaporation of the contents.

But can you drink what’s left? At a microbiological level, yes. Researchers are pretty sure the content will not kill you, though the wine will not taste good. Of course, this is a hypothetical answer, as the museum does not want to open the bottle, not even for research purposes.
Photo credit: CAROLE RADDATO/(CC BY-SA 2.0)