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Oldest Liquid Wine Discovered in 2,000-Year-Old Tomb in Spain

"Photo of an ancient, sealed wine container, unearthed from a 2,000-year-old tomb in Spain, identified as containing the world's oldest liquid wine."

In a surprising turn of events in 2019, a family in the city of Carmona, Andalusia, unearthed an impeccably preserved Roman burial ground beneath their home during renovations. Among the remarkable finds within this untouched tomb was what experts have now determined to be the oldest known liquid wine in existence. Once white, this wine has aged into a reddish-brown color, akin to sherry, and was discovered in a glass container alongside cremated remains.

Researchers from the University of Córdoba analyzed the ancient beverage, confirming it was originally a local variety similar to sherry.

The idea that wine gets better with time reaches a whole new level when considering a wine that has matured for more than two millennia.

Ancient Beverage Unveiled in Century-Old Roman Tomb

A study featured in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports unveils the origins of a Roman tomb dating from the early first century C.E. This historic tomb, adorned with eight wall-carved niches, served as the final resting place for its inhabitants.

Inside, six niches held urns crafted from materials ranging from glass to limestone, each preserving human remains. Notably, two of these urns bore the names Senicio and Hispanae, etching their identities into history.

Among these urns, researchers found an extraordinary vessel – a glass urn containing nearly five liters of a reddish liquid, alongside the cremated remains of a man and a gold ring that suggested his social status. The real intrigue arose when this liquid was scientifically confirmed to be wine, a discovery made through detailed chemical analysis. The wine’s composition, notably the absence of syringic acid which is commonly found in red wine, pinpointed its origin to white grapes, offering a rare glimpse into ancient winemaking traditions.

The Speyer Wine Bottle: A Previous Record Holder for Ancient Liquid Wine

Prior to this amazing find in Spain, the record for the most ancient wine still in a liquid form was held by the Speyer wine bottle. This remarkable artifact, dating back to the period between 325 and 350 AD, was discovered in a Roman tomb close to Speyer, Germany, in 1867.

Holding the distinction of being the oldest known unopened wine bottle, this historical treasure has since become a centerpiece in the Wine Museum at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, showcasing an intriguing piece of ancient viticulture and Roman heritage.

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