World press enjoys Aland bubbly buffet

Thirsty news hounds from around the world descended on the tiny Aland Islands this week to taste what is thought to be the world’s oldest champagne. In one of the biggest media events in the region’s history, around 100 representatives from international news agencies such as Bloomberg, Reuters, AFP and AP trained their gaze on the Finnish autonomous islands.

The sunken treasure, which was discovered in a shipwreck by local diver Christian Ekstrom in July, could be the oldest champagne in the world having been dated to the eighteenth or nineteenth century. Around 70 bottles, thought to be from the French Veuve Clicquot vineyard, were found in the wreck, sparking media interest across the world.

Around 20 lucky guests were invited to taste the vintage fizz at the event on Wednesday 17th November. Finnish journalist Pirjo Peltoniemi described the experience to YLE: “It had a powerful aroma and tasted surprisingly sweet; slightly of chocolate, raisins and toffee,” she said.

The tasting took place at the House of Culture in the Aland capital of Mariehamn before the journalists were taken on a sightseeing tour of the island. The fate of the remaining champagne, which belongs to the Aland Government, is still to be decided.