The wine is out of this world. The price is appropriately stratospheric. Christie’s said Tuesday it is selling a bottle of French wine that spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The auction house thinks a wine connoisseur might pay as much as $1 million to own it. The Pétrus 2000 is one of 12 bottles sent into space in November 2019 by private space startup Space Cargo Unlimited as part of an effort to make plants on Earth more resilient to climate change and disease by exposing them to new stresses. It returned 14 months later subtly altered, according to wine experts who sampled it at a tasting in France. Tim Tiptree of Christie's said the space-aged wine was "matured in a unique environment" of near zero-gravity aboard the space station.
The trip turned a $10,000-a-bottle wine known for its complexity; silky, ripe tannins; and flavors of black cherry, cigar box, and leather into a scientific novelty—and still a fine bottle of wine, Tiptree said. At a taste test in March, a dozen wine connoisseurs compared one of the space-traveled wines to a bottle from the same vintage that had stayed in a cellar. They noted a difference that was hard to describe. Jane Anson, a writer with the wine publication Decanter, said the wine that remained on Earth tasted a bit younger, the space version slightly softer and more aromatic. The wine, being offered by Christie’s in a private sale, comes with a bottle of terrestrial Pétrus of the same vintage, a decanter, glasses, and a corkscrew crafted from a meteorite, reports the AP. Proceeds from the sale will fund future research by Space Cargo Unlimited.
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