Divers have found bottles of champagne some 230 years old on the bottom of the Baltic which a wine expert described Saturday as tasting "fabulous," AFP reports.
Thought to be premium brand Veuve Clicquot, the 30 bottles discovered perfectly preserved at a depth of 55 metres (180 feet) could have been in a consignment sent by France's King Louis XVI to Russian Tsar Peter the Great.
If confirmed, it would be by far the oldest champagne still drinkable in the world, thanks to the ideal conditions of cold and darkness.
"We have contacted (makers) Moet & Chandon and they are 98 percent certain it is Veuve Clicquot," Christian Ekstroem, the head of the diving team, told AFP.
"There is an anchor on the cork and they told me they are the only ones to have used this sign," he added.
The group of seven Swedish divers made their find on July 6 off the Finnish Aaland island, mid-way between Sweden and Finland, near the remains of a sailing vessel.
"Visibility was very bad, hardly a metre," Ekstroem said. "We couldn't find the name of the ship, or the bell, so I brought a bottle up to try to date it."
The hand-made bottle bore no label, while the cork was marked Juclar, from its origin in Andorra. According to records, Veuve Clicquot was first produced in 1772, but the first bottles were laid down for ten years.