Would you drink this?

The world’s oldest wine bottle in the world dates from approximately 325 A.D. It was one of several found in a sarcophagus of a Roman noble, near the German city of Speyer, but is the only one with the contents still preserved.

bottle2This 1,650-year-old greenish-yellow glass amphora* has dolphin-shaped handles, and is sealed with wax. The ancient liquid has much silty sediment.  About two-thirds of the contents are a thick, hazy mixture.  This is most probably olive oil, which Romans commonly used as a preservative for wine. The oil was layered atop the wine to preserve it from oxidation.  There are several versions of the bottle on the internet. This is one of them, the other is like a normal bottle. I don’t know which one is photoshopped!

article-2072381-0F1F5D2A00000578-93_468x310It has been on permanent display at the Pfalz Historical Museum (pictured right), in Speyer, for more than a century. The museum’s wine department curator, Ludger Tekampe, says: ‘We are not sure whether or not it could stand the shock to the air. It is still liquid.’ According to wine professor Monika Christmann : ‘Micro-biologically it is probably not spoiled, but it would not bring joy to the palate.’

Back to the original question: “Would you drink it?” 😉

*An amphora is a two-handled jar with a narrow neck, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to carry wine and olive oil.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *