Saying this bottle of wine is “out of this world” would be a pretty fair statement.
A bottle of French Pétrus 2000 wine, originally priced at $10,000 a bottle, returned from a trip into space along with 11 other wine bottles this January. The goods spent more than one year at the International Space Station and are now selling for $1 million.
Christie’s auction house in London told the Associated Press that they believe the price tag won’t be an obstacle when selling the bottle, as they believe connoisseurs will be willing to pay the price.
In November 2019, European startup Space Cargo Unlimited consigned 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine to travel into space. It was sent on a rocket constructed by NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman, according to Quartz. Nicolas Gaume, the co-founder of Space Cargo Unlimited, formally called the operation “Mission WISE.”
“We need new solutions for tomorrow’s agriculture,” read Gaume’s tweet on November 2, 2019, the same day the wine was sent into orbit. “And Mission WISE changes the way we research life science in Space thanks to…wine.”
“Wine is the place where [research] found most of microbiology, and wine could be the key to really tackle microbiology in a unique way,” Gaume also told Quartz.
The wine landed back on earth on January 13 of this year in SpaceX‘s Cargo Dragon spacecraft.
“We are thrilled to share that all bottles survived the trip of 438 days and 19 hours on ISS – more than 300.000.000 km at 28.800 km/h – in ZeroG,” Space Cargo Unlimited tweeted the next day.
The bottles were kept unopened until the end of February, as reported by the Associated Press, then in March, the company, along with France’s best wine connoisseurs and experts, tasted the wine. Researchers conducted their testing following the wine tasting.
Tim Tiptree, international director of Christie’s wine and spirits department, told AP that “the space-aged wine was matured in a unique environment of near zero-gravity aboard the space station.”
“It’s just a very harmonious wine that has the ability to age superbly, which is why it was chosen for this experiment,” Tiptree added. “It’s very encouraging that it was delicious on return to Earth.”
A corkscrew crafted from a meteorite comes with the wine in Christie’s private sale, reported AP.
Although it was quite an unusual and extremely expensive experiment, Pétrus 2000 is not the first space wine. In 2012, Norwich-born Ian Hutcheon introduced a Cabernet Sauvignon called Meteorito, which he created in his vineyard. It was matured using a “4.5 billion-year-old meteorite from the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter”, according to the Drinks Business.