The Oldest Wine in the World

The Oldest Wine in the World

For quite some time now, modern historians have been debating the future of the oldest wine bottle. This Spajer or Römerwein wine has never been opened, which is why various historians differ. Some say the bottle should be opened and examined in detail, while others say it should remain closed. So, it is possible that one bottle of wine raises international dilemmas.

The Oldest Wine in the World
The Oldest Wine in the World

Amazing Finding

This extremely rare artifact dates back to 1650 and is now on display at the Palatinate History Museum in Germany. The glass amphora has two dolphin-shaped handles, and it is tightly closed with wax. One third of the liquid of the bottle consist of olive oil, which was previously used to prevent the wine from oxidizing.

A bottle of Spajer wine was found in the grave of a Roman nobleman in 1867 in the Rhineland-Palatinate region. The deceased nobleman is believed to have been a high-ranking legionnaire. He was accompanied to the afterlife by a bottle of wine because that was the ancient Roman tradition. They believed that valuables buried with the dead people would serve them in the afterlife. For this reason, the graves were supplemented with many other things, food, and jewelry also. Also, in this grave near the town of Speyer were found two additional coffins in which both of the wives of this man were buried. The ancient wine was named in honor of the town of Speyer.

The Main Question

During World War II, a chemist began some research related to this bottle of wine, but he never opened it that way and eventually gave it to the museum. Over time, many other scientists have tried to get the permission to open the old bottle of wine and make some research on it, but so far no one has been granted such a permission because this bottle is treated as an international historical treasure. Some scientists and microbiologists strongly believe that wine should never be opened. Ludger Tekerve, the curator of the Folklore Wine Museum, also agree to the opinion that this special bottle must be closed. He says the biggest risk to this bottle of wine is oxygen. There is no data on how the liquid inside can be affected by oxygen of the environment after so many years.

The wine was bottled in the very first days when it was first produced by using one of the first bottling techniques. This tradition was started by the ancient Greeks and eventually adopted by the Romans. They even accepted the ancient Greek god of agriculture, wine, and fertility who was called Dionysus, but gave him the name of Bacchus. While there is a worldwide opinion that the older the wine is, the quality is better and the price is higher. However, Spayer wine is considered as not drinkable. According to the professor and wine expert Monika Christmann, although the wine may not be microbiologically spoiled or poisoned, it certainly would not be delicious.