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'World's oldest champagne' tastes just as bubbly after 200 years

By Nairita Das

Melbourne, Nov 18 (ANI): After nearly 200 years under the Baltic Sea, the 'world's oldest champagne' has kept its sparkle, wine experts have pronounced.

In front of a large audience of reporters and wine enthusiasts in the capital of the autonomous Finnish province of Aaland, the experts gently eased the fragile corks from the two dark brown bottles - one from the house of Veuve-Clicquot and the other from the now extinct house of Juglar.

Richard Juhlin, one of the world's foremost champagne experts, tasted it first and instantly relied with an appreciative "Ah!"

He described the Juglar as "more intense and powerful, mushroomy" and the Veuve-Clicquot as more like Chardonnay, with notes of "linden blossoms and lime peels".

As the contents were poured into rows of waiting glasses for others, the aroma was more pungent than any modern wine or champagne: a thick, nose-wrinkling and quite cheesy bouquet that could be smelled several yards away.

"Madame Clicquot herself must have tasted this same batch," News.com.au quoted a Veuve-Clicquot representative, Francois Hautekeur, as saying.

Aaland's top museum official Viveka Loendal said the remarkable bottles were discovered in a two-masted schooner which had run aground sometime between 1825 and 1830 making it most likely the world's oldest champagne.

Pekka Nuikki, an expert who has sampled many 19th century champagnes, said, "In cases like these, the joy comes not from the champagne's taste, but from the chance to share a bottle like this with others."

"What more could a person ask for than to have been lucky enough to taste champagne that's more than 200 years old? And if it's excellent too, then wow," he added.

The deputy head of the Aaland government, Britt Lundberg, announced that the province planned to auction off one bottle of each make and is expected to fetch 135000 each. (ANI)

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