A wine merchants' dream turned sour after 150 years

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So-called 'shipwreck wines' can be fantastic, according to master sommelier Paul Roberts, but one recently uncorked bottle was a wine merchants' worst nightmare.

Reuters reports how the bottle, recovered from an 1864 shipwreck off the coast of Bermuda, was opened at a special event in front of an audience of about 50 people who had bought tickets for the occasion.

The aroma was not as appealing as they might have hoped - stagnant water, sulphur and even turpentine all made it into the description.

And after a century and a half on the ocean floor, it's perhaps little surprise that the 'flavour' of the liquid inside was dominated by saltwater.

Despite being a grey-coloured salty brine, analysis showed the 'wine' had at least retained one of its original characteristics, with an impressive alcohol content of 37%.

But it seems unlikely any similar blends will be appearing at your local independent wine merchants anytime soon - aside from the citrus and alcohol flavours, the full description includes "a mixture of crab water, gasoline, saltwater and vinegar".

A reminder of the bottle's 150-year stint on the seabed, perhaps, but not a recipe for something you'd want to enjoy with cheese after a delicious meal.