Watch for alien notes in this weightless red
A space-aged bottle of fine French wine, part of a case of Bordeaux that was matured in Earth orbit for 14 months, is being put up for private sale by Christie’s, and the auction house estimates it may fetch up to $1m (about R14m).
The unprecedented offering of the 2000-vintage Pétrus, a world-class merlot produced in the Pomerol region, was announced in London this week. The same wine, not aged in space, would fetch about $6,500.
“This bottle of Pétrus 2000 marks a momentous step in developing and gaining a greater understanding of the maturation of wine,” said Tim wine and spirits department.
Proceeds will go to the private European rocket company Space Cargo Unlimited, which launched 12 bottles of Pétrus 2000 on a voyage to the International Space Station in November 2019, part of a series of experiments in viticulture and microgravity.
The bottles were shuttled back to Earth in January this year aboard a SpaceX cargo capsule after spending nearly 440 days in orbit. They were returned to Bordeaux, where one was opened for a blind taste test by a dozen leading connoisseurs, who compared it with controlled samples of the same vintage Pétrus that had stayed on Earth.
The experts reported a subtle but clear difference between the two.