I became an honorary Gin Rectifier last night (May 9). I took an oath and now I am duty bound to promote the best interests of gin.
The 1841 Veuve Clicquot and a bottle of Juglar - which sold for €24,000 - were among 168 bottles discovered last year at the site of a 19th century shipwreck near the Åland Islands, an autonomous region of Finland.
The sale took place in Mariehamn, Åland, under the auspices of the Aland government and US auction house Acker Merrall & Condit.
The wreck-discovered champagnes were joined at the auction by 15 “special” lots from Veuve Cliquot's cellars.
John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit said: “Today proved to be one of the most historic and exhilarating events in the world of wine. The tremendous amount of interest shown in the auction is a testament to the continued growth of the auction market for fine and rare wine.”
Rainer Juslin of the Åland government said: “This sends out a strong message that the oldest and rarest drinkable champagne is sold in Åland.
“We are also happy that the financial surplus that is generated by the sale of the champagne bottles will go to charitable causes, such as environmental measures for improving the quality of water in the seas.”
Of the 168 bottles found at the shipwreck, 145 bottles were salvaged and brought to the surface to be tasted, before being re-corked by Portuguese cork producer Amorim.