Christie’s Images Ltd. 2021
For most wine lovers, a cheap bottle from a grocery store is enough.
But for the adventurous wine connoisseur with a discerning palate – and with a lot of money – there is a new frontier: space wine.
Now you can buy a bottle of “space” Pétrus 2000, a luxury wine that recently returned from a 14-month spin on the International Space Station through Christie’s auction house. It will be sold with a bottle of “earth” wine of the same vintage for easy comparison.
According to the Associated Press, is expected to bring in as much as a million dollars.
“This Pétrus 2000 bottle represents an important step in the quest to develop and achieve a greater understanding of wine maturation,” said Tim Triptree, international director of Christie’s wine and spirits division.
The bottle was one of a dozen launched into space in 2019 as part of the WISE Mission – which stands for Grape wine in a distance experiment; roughly “Grape Wine Experiment” – a series of experiments on how the aging of wine and grapes is affected by being in space, where gravity and radiation are significantly different than on earth.
After the bottles returned to Earth in January, scientists opened one and invited 12 connoisseurs to try it on a blind flavor test at the Institute for Wine and Vine Research in Bordeaux, France. Tasters were served samples of space wine with a version of the country Pétrus 2000. (Worse-traveled bottles of Château Pétrus from Bordeaux are usually sold for $ 6,500).
Christie’s Images Ltd. 2021
The reviewers unanimously determined that the space wine is not only still a “great wine”, but also with differences in its taste and color compared to its land brother and sister, with a deeper nuance in its core that the tasters described as “brick-like”.
“The tannins were a little more silky, evolving. The aromatic side was a little more floral,” said Jane Anson, a wine expert and critic, at a news conference after the tasting in March. “There was a little more pronounced evolution with the one that was in space.”
The bottle of space wine offered for sale comes in a “unique suitcase” handmade by Parisian Maison d’Arts Les Ateliers Victor, packed in a decanter, glasses and corkscrew made of meteorites. Christie’s says the sale will be done privately, so the complacent enophile who packs the bottles may never be publicly known.
Proceeds from Christie’s sale will be funded by future research by Space Cargo Unlimited, the French newcomer behind the experiment and sales. The group specializes in agricultural and biological space exploration.
The company’s financing model is based in part on sending luxury goods into space and then delivering to wealthy sponsors who support the company, as reported by Quartz on the eve of the 2019 launch.