Hundreds of bottles of century-old wine, champagne, and brandy are believed to still be drinkable.

By Marisa Spyker
April 24, 2019
Eric Volto/ Getty Images

As a kid, dreams of uncovering buried treasure most likely consisted of unearthing pirate chests brimming with gold coins and bars. But hidden treasure comes in many forms, and if you’re an oenophile, here’s an opportunity to hit the ultimate jackpot.

Cookson Adventures, a UK-based luxury adventure tour company, is leading an expedition to the bottom of the deep blue sea, where a ship apparently laden with grown-up goodies—hundreds of bottles of 100-year-old wine and champagne—was recently discovered.

According to the website, the ship, codenamed Mercury, was traveling from Bordeaux to the UK in 1918 carrying a treasure trove of alcohol when it was sunk by a German U-Boat during World War II. It came to rest 100 meters below the ocean’s surface, where its contents laid undisturbed for 100 years.

Courtesy of Cookson Adventures

Thankfully, in the cold, dark environment of the sea, the loot was also well preserved. (Some even believe the sea’s pressure and gentle movement can have an effect on wine.) Now, Cookson Adventures is assembling a team of scientists, archaeologists, and oenologists to help surface and test the extensive collection of wine, champagne, and cognac—and, for the right price, you can join, too.

The attractive offer extended to the public includes a seven-night stay in a Cornish mansion on the Falmouth coast, as well as private daily helicopter transfers to and from the salvage vessel. During the marine expedition, participants will observe and assist in mapping and surveying the wreck before surfacing operations begin. Wine experts expect to be able to test the wines immediately with the help of a technology that allows extraction without damaging the wine corks.

And sampling the wreck’s historic libations is just part of the wine-focused fun. As part of the luxury package, guests also get to enjoy meals prepared by a private chef and paired with “an exquisite collection of vintage wines.”

Well, this certainly sounds like our cup of cognac. Yours too? Find more information, including package pricing, at Cookson Adventures.

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