Furfural Derivatives And 170-Year-Old Champagne

SHIPWRECKED FIZZ: In 2010, divers found a cache of 170-year-old champagne in the Baltic Sea. (Credit: Visit Åland)

Analysis of furfural derivatives in the shipwrecked bubbly reveals secrets of 19th-century French wine making.  The ancient and perfectly preserved champagne, which was taken from a shipwreck off the coast of Finland, revealed an array of curious facts about past wine-making practices. Chemical analysis of the vintage sparkling wine revealed particularly high levels of sugar and salt compared with modern-day champagne, as well as the presence of unexpected metals, likely used in 19th-century wine preservation and storage (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1500783112).

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