Consarnit! I lost out on this vintage Champagne.
Reminds me of a story my buddy Craig Ritacco told me a few years back that we ran in the Star Tribune in 1985:
“One of our regulars walked in carrying an old, mysterious bottle. It looked a bit beaten up: it had no label and there were old markings on it. He said it was Heidsieck Champagne from the Titanic. He’d bought six bottles at around $4,000 a bottle.
“The metal on the top was steel, not aluminum like they have now, and it was imbedded in the cork so deeply you could barely see it. I wanted to go get some wire cutters, but it was one of those tableside deals, so I had to try to finesse it.
“I had to pull up a service table to work on it, and it took me about 15 minutes to get it off. I was shaking like a leaf, too, afraid something was going to happen. It was pretty nerve-racking. All I could think of during all that time was “iceberg dead ahead,” from that movie [1997’s ‘Titanic’].
So I finally got it open and poured a glass for the guest and the five others at his table. There was just a little bit of effervescence. It had oxidized, which was too bad. He gave me a small sip. It actually tasted almost like a dessert wine, kind of sweet.
“It wasn’t a great wine anymore, but still I was thinking, ‘how cool is this, to be tasting some real history? How many people get to taste a sip, oxidized or not, from the Titanic?’ I wouldn’t say it went down easy. It didn’t have much fruit left. You drank it because it was cool.”