Sending wine to space, and bringing it back down to earth to sell for a good cause seems like a Herculean effort. But the true admiration must be for the astronauts who managed to resist the temptation to pop it open for some 14 months.
A bottle of the world’s first space-aged wine is currently available through Christie’s Private Sales. After 14 months aboard the International Space Station as part of an experiment undertaken by Space Cargo, the case of Bordeaux Pétrus 2000 travelled aboard a Dragon spacecraft back to Earth in January.
One bottle is now presented in a trunk handcrafted by Parisian Maison d’Arts Les Ateliers Victor, alongside a decanter, glasses and a corkscrew made from a meteorite. The price is $1 million (£719,686), which also includes a bottle of ‘terrestrial’ Pétrus 2000.
The million dollar question — quite literally — is, of course, whether the wine tastes any different for having travelled over 200 million miles in orbit around the earth?
Recommended videos for you
Apparently so, is the answer. The contrast is ‘remarkable’, says the panel of wine experts and scientists who tasted the wines earlier this year, noting differences in colour, aroma and flavour.
This wine is ‘literally, out of this world,’ adds Nicolas Gaume, co-founder and CEO of Space Cargo. ‘The proceeds of the sale will allow us to continue Mission WISE, six experiments in space to help invent the agriculture and food we need for tomorrow on Earth. It is our conviction that there is no Planet B and we intend to pave the way for our future.’
The research programme examines the way plants adapt to the stress of space conditions. Presumably the issue of astronauts’ stress due to long-term residency on is no longer such an issue, now that those on board the ISS have such a lovely stock of wine to tap into should things get too rough.
In his final column, our outgoing wine columnist Harry Eyres celebrates the romance and splendour of national wine scene — and