An auction house said Tuesday that it is seeking $1 million for a bottle of French wine that spent more than a year in space.
The bottle of Pétrus 2000 went into orbit aboard the International Space Station after it was launched into space along with 12 other bottles of wine in November 2019, the Associated Press reported. Researchers decided to send the bottles into space to investigate the potential for extraterrestrial agriculture.
Wine experts tasted the wine in France after it had spent 14 months in space and noticed a subtle difference in flavor, according to the report. The 12 wine connoisseurs who compared the bottle that had been in space to one that had remained in a cellar at the Institute for Wine and Vine Research in March said that the difference was difficult to describe. (RELATED: You Can Now Buy “Deplorables” Wine That Was Made Right Here In The U.S.A.)
According to Jane Anson, a writer for the wine publication Decanter, the wine that had been to space tasted softer, older, and more aromatic than the one that remained on Earth.
Stratospheric: A bottle of French wine that spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station is up for sale. Christie’s thinks a wine connoisseur might pay as much as $1 million to own it. https://t.co/2cfQx41HpQ #odd
— AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) May 4, 2021
Tim Tiptree, the international director of the wine at spirits department the auction house Christie’s, described the wine as being “matured in a unique environment.” The bottle was originally worth $10,000, but now, Tiptree said that the wine – known for flavors of black cherry, cigar box, and leather – was a scientific novelty.
“It’s just a very harmonious wine that has the ability to age superbly, which is why it was chosen for this experiment,” he added according to the Associated Press. “It’s very encouraging that it was delicious on return to Earth.”
Space Cargo Unlimited, a private space startup, launched the wine into orbit to research ways to expose plants to harsher environments to make them more resilient to climate change and disease. The experiment was also used by researchers to gain insights into the fermentation, aging process, and bubbles in wine.
Christie’s is selling the space wine together with another bottle of Pétrus that was not sent into space for comparison. The two bottles come in a hand-crafted wooden trunk with a decanter, glasses, and a corkscrew created from a meteorite. All proceeds from the sale will go towards Space Cargo Unlimited to find future research.