This Is The World's Oldest Bottle Of Wine

Wine collecting stands as one of the most expensive hobbies in the world. Rich people like looking for the rarest wines they can find, not to drink it, but just keep the bottles on their shelves.

Most wines become more expensive the older they are, mainly because people think the flavor of the alcohol gets more intense over time. There are some really expensive bottles out there, but none is more aged than the nearly 1,700-year-old bottle called the Speyer wine bottle.

The bottle gets its name from the city of Speyer in Germany, per Atlas Obscura. A team of archeologists excavated the tomb of a Roman couple in the area in 1867. Along with other items, like the sarcophagi of the couple, they found several bottles that may have contained liquid of some sort. According to Wines of Germany, six vessels were found in the woman's tomb and 10 on the man's side. These vessels probably held provisions for the afterlife. But, there was one bottle that still miraculously contained liquid.

The yellow-green cylindrical glass bottle with handles shaped like dolphins holds some clear liquid and what looks like a firm resin. Scientists theorized the bottle might have been placed in the tomb around 325 AD. A wax seal tops it off and the mixture is said to contain olive oil, possibly keeping air out of the bottle. The oil, experts said, was so thick and tight that it hardened into the resin.

Would you want to drink the oldest wine in the world?

Though it looks cloudy, Wines of Germany said researchers believe the liquid in the bottle is a mixture of wine and herbs, which was common at the time. Ancient Origins explained the Romans took their love of wine from the Greeks and encouraged wine production across its whole empire. So it's no surprise some sort of wine will be part of someone's journey into the afterlife.

The archeologists kept the Speyer bottle in The Museum of Wine, a part of the Historical Museum of Pfalz. What surprised many historians is that the bottle is still intact; after all, Roman glass is not known for strength. Scientists believe the bottle and the liquid inside are so well preserved because of how well it's sealed. Romans did usually pour olive oil with other liquids as a means to create a vacuum. Keeping air out helps preserve liquid from evaporation. Plus, instead of a modern cork, it was sealed with wax. A cork would've rotted away a long time ago, and it would've affected the liquid inside.

From its discovery, people wanted to know, will that over a thousand-year-old wine taste good? A chemist first examined the bottle and liquid during World War I, but he never actually took the wax seal out. It was found that the ethanol would have evaporated a while back, so it's not even alcohol anymore. Several other analyses followed over the years, Futurism reported, and they concluded while it would not taste good, the liquid is still probably drinkable.

No one wants to open the world's oldest bottle of wine

The Speyer bottle, though, remains unopened, mainly because the museum that holds it is scared of what could happen if the seal is broken. No, not that they think there's a curse or something, it's not like they opened a Pharaoh's tomb or something. Instead, they're worried they might ruin the bottle and its contents, The Local said.

Museum directors fear that in opening the bottle, outside air may get into the bottle and damage what little liquid is left. Not to mention, the bottle could accidentally shatter in the process.

Even scarier is what could come out of the bottle. No one's volunteered to drink it yet, but scientists believe some chemical changes may have occurred. In other words, they're scared the liquid and the air inside may have turned poisonous in the thousand years it's been sealed up, despite the fact most scientists think it's still fine to drink.

While wine enthusiasts have occasionally sipped from hundred-year-old bottles, they're probably not going to touch this one. Though imagine the price it could fetch in one of those fancy wine auctions? One really rich dude will probably want to keep that in his temperature-controlled wine cellar in his mansion.