Stranger than fiction: Champagne

A story that occasionally resurfaces on my radar is that of shipwrecked cargo – in this case Champagne, lost at sea some 170 years ago. Sunk off the coast of Finland, this booty was probably en route to Russia from France – according to shipping routes of the early 19th Century.champagne.Capture

Beyond the circumstances of this incident at sea, I wonder about the sheer extravagance enjoyed by the elites across Europe at a time when life expectancy for most people fell within the 25 to 35 year old range (according to varying sources).

That is a murky past that ought to resurface along with the bottles – yet the popular charm of this particular Champagne seems to be its overblown value in the present day.


Monitoring the above story over the past couple of years led me to give ‘the bubbly’ a fictionalised nod in Monkey Steals Plum… and, yes, I opted to use the lower case spelling of champagne.


Pop. The flowing contents of the unique champagne bottles were Feng’s reward to the flight and landing team. They each received a bottle of the rarest champagne. Avinash read the label.


Avinash was pleased but reminded Olga that he did not drink.

‘I’ll have it for you, if you like.’

‘No. I will cherish it, perhaps to open it when we land our manned mission.’







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