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Posted: Wednesday, 05 May 2021 23:57

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Petrus 2000: World’s Most Expensive Wine from Space at Rs. 75 Million

May 05: A bottle of Petrus 2000 produced from Merlot grapes in Pomerol- adjoining Saint-Emilion, and which spent 14 months in orbit, covering a distance of 300 trips to moon, as part of a privately funded research study on food and agriculture, will be available to a private buyer at an expected price of $1m (Rs. 7.5 Cr/ Rs.75 million), according to an announcement by the auction house of Christie’s in London yesterday

Space Cargo Unlimited, a unique European New Space start-up sent 12 bottles of the wine to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2019. The ship returned to earth in January 2021 after more than 400 days and 300 million km in space, with zero gravity-tantamounting to 300 trips to the moon and back. 

Scientists analysed the wine and a group of wine tasters even tasted a batch at the University of Bordeaux's wine institute in March for comparison of the celestial wine with a cellar -aged  ‘Plebeian’ Petrus 2000 costing merely $6900 (Rs. 520,000-taxes extra; Source Wine-Searcher). Tim Triptree MW who works at Christie's says a regular bottle of Pétrus 2000 will also be in the package so that the buyer can compare the celestial bottle with the earth-aged wine.

The unique bottle of space-aged Pétrus is offered in a unique cupboard shaped trunk, designed and handcrafted by the Maison d’Arts Les Ateliers Victor of Paris, alongside a bottle of terrestrial Pétrus 2000, a decanter, glasses and a corkscrew apparently crafted from a meteorite. The result of more than 900 hours’ work, the trunk is designed to include a ‘secret vault hidden behind a solar system inspired by Jules Verne, says Christie’s.

For a novice or a regular wine drinker in India, who pays taxes to the tune of 300% and can afford mostly a wine bottle costing $5 in a Supermarket in Europe, this is literally an astronomical price, but if one of the Ambani kids were a wine connoisseur and had the opportunity of owning a collectible-of-the millennium, $1 million would be mere pocket change. Of course, there would be additional $1.5 million customs duty to be paid, making it worth $2.5 million (2 liters of alcohol is allowed free of duty but is limited in value) so the customs duty would have to be paid.

...or perhaps, Gates-Melinda Foundation could buy it and lend it to Smithsonian on a long term basis as an exhibit! Space Age Unlimited has not clarified what would be the fate of the balance bottles brought back.

Of course, if you buy the wine you are paying for history- and perhaps felicitating the start-up indirectly for future missions. According to delWine, this is what we call ‘Ameeron ke chonchlay’ (Idiosyncrasies of the rich).

Jane Anson, a Columnist of Decanter was one of the few fortunate guests who were invited to taste the celestial wine. She found the aromatics more floral and smokier – a characteristic that Petrus imbibes as it matures and gets older. It's hard to say if it was better or worse. But it was definitely different, she reportedly told BBC.

Subhash Arora

 

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