Shipwrecked Champagne brings hearty bids

A Veuve Clicquot
Champagne is at its best well-chilled, but this is ridiculous.

Eleven bottles of Champagne that had sat on the bottom of the frigid Baltic Sea for 170 years sold at auction Friday for a total of more than $156,000 in Mariehamn, capital of the autonomous Finnish region of Aaland.

They had been part of the cargo of a schooner that sunk in 1842 between Finland and Sweden. By chance, the wine was perfectly "stored" horizontally.

Divers exploring the shipwreck found 162 bottles, 79 of them drinkable. Four were Veuve Clicquot. The highest-priced bottle fetched a winning bid of $18,721.50.

A single bottle of Veuve Clicquot from the same shipwreck was auctioned last year for $37,400. Profits from the auction will go to a variety of charitable causes.

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