In November 2019, a dozen bottles of French red wine were sent into space and spent 14 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Now, the crate has landed back on the planet on 14 January 2021.
While a bottle of Pétrus 2000 merlot is normally valued at around USD6,000 (RM24k) a bottle, the space-aged wine spent hundreds of days circling around the Earth, subject to the uncertain effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation.
If you want a taste of space, a bottle of this cosmic rarity can be yours… as long as you’re a millionaire. Christie’s auction house announced that the wine will be available through its private sale, estimating it to fetch around USD1 million (RM4.124 million).
The space wine is the first stage of a six-part experiment by Space Cargo Unlimited, a Luxembourg-based start-up, to better understand how organic materials react to extraterrestrial environments.
So, does space wine tastes different? A panel of wine tasters got to try out a batch of cosmic Pétrus 2000 merlot alongside the regular Earth variety at the University of Bordeaux’s wine institution in March and said yes, there are clear differences between the two.
“I found there was a difference in both colour and aromatics and also in taste,” wine expert and journalist Jane Anson told CNN. She also said the wine felt a bit older and “evolved” than the wine that had remained on Earth, like it aged an extra two or three years in space.
The space-aged Pétrus 2000 merlot comes in a hand-made “celestial chest” featuring a moving solar system, a crystal decanter, crystal glasses, and a corkscrew that’s made from a meteorite found in the North Pole.
It also includes a bottle of regular Earth wine, so you and your millionaire friends can compare the taste of the two (you know, just rich people tings).