Sunken Treasure

In the news this week, underwater treasure hunters brought up close to 1,000 bottles of a rare cognac and other liqueurs. In 1917, the Kyros was sunk by a German U-boat on its voyage from France to St. Petersburg.  The crew all survived the sinking but the liquid gold went to the bottom. The wreck was discovered in 1999 but wasn’t accessible until now.

The treasure hunters, Ocean X Team and iXplorer spent over a week with submersibles and robots to salvage the bottles, 600 De Haartman cognac and 300 Benedictine liqueur, which have been sitting for the last 102 years beneath 250 feet of cold Baltic Sea water. The Benedictine liqueur brand now belongs to Bacardi and the explorers are working with them and researching the possible worth of their find.  They say most of the bottles appear to be intact.

Would you be Long John Silver or Jim Hawkins?

25 thoughts on “Sunken Treasure”

  1. Well, if you consider Silver as someone who has the most fun, I guess I would rather be him than Jim. I don’t know about hanging around with the parrot, though.

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      1. I sure don’t know. The wine I consume is several weeks old and doesn’t get noticeably better if I keep it another week. Long John Silver would surely have more fun than Jim Hawkins. Hawkins resembles me at that age, and that is not a good thing. I do worry about the parrot. Is that thing housebroken, or does it let fly whenever and wherever it chooses to?

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        1. if chickens are any comparison, they seem to go whenever and where ever it happens. I may have read they have no control over that.
          “I learn it from a book.”

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        2. I wonder about the state of Silver’s coat with that parrot perched on his shoulder much of the time. I bet parrots have a lot of fun if they are free to roam.

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        3. Actually, when you carry a parrot on your shoulder, you can tell when it’s getting ready to poop; it tightens its grip on you with its feet. All you need to do, depending on where you are, is lean back so that its poop lands on the ground, or if you’re indoor, put it on its perch. Admittedly, you need to be being attention, but if you do, it isn’t difficult avoiding that it poops where you don’t want it to. I know this from 23 years of personal experience with Gizmo.

          Liked by 5 people

      2. Liquors in a bottle don’t change much, from what I understand. That’s why “great” aged scotches and bourbons are aged in barrels. That’s where they take on their flavors and aromas.

        Wines, however, do age and change in the bottle. Many of the “best” wines (as deemed by the experts–perhaps we should call them the most age-worthy wines instead) can age for decades because they have enough intensity and tannins to begin with.

        Some “best wines” earned a reputation a long time ago but have lagged for a variety of reasons. Also, everyone’s definition of what constitutes a great wine can vary a lot.

        The finest age-worthy wines will maintain their quality for decades if they are stored properly. That means wine cellar conditions of 55 degrees and relatively high humidity. Good vintners often use caves and cellars dug deep underground to store their bottled wine. OR they employ mechanical devices to achieve that goal.

        The problem with wine is that cork from trees is not a perfect seal. Given enough time, air will seep into the wine and cause it to oxidize (basically turn it into expensive vinegar). The best seal is actually a screwtop like you see on most cheaper wines these days. But the Big Guys eschew anything other than cork because of the tradition and the cache of cork being used for hundreds of years. Some even insist that the “pop” f the cork is an integral part of the wine-drinking experience.

        The jury is still out on the long-term benefit of using screw tops to preserve wine because of their relative newness and lack of great wines that have been using screw tops on age-worthy wines.

        As a rule of thumb, the vast majority of wine on store shelves SHOULD be drunk within 5-10 years. White wines, definitely sooner than that (maybe 5 yrs max). If you want a special wine that will age for 20+ years because you want it for a special occasion or are treating it as an investment (which is why most “great wines” are purchased–they are rarely consumed).

        Personally, I’ve tasted great wines both young and old, and I find I enjoy younger wines much more than older wines. Old wines may have some wonderful subtleties but are often not as vibrant and full of flavor as they were as youngsters. Plus, at age 63, I’m no longer looking to save any wines for 20+ years with the intention of drinking them. And investing in great wines cost a lot (reputation premium plus storage costs, insurance, etc.) If you don’t know what you’re doing or are careless with storage, you WILL lose money on that investment.

        However, I do have a wonderful bottle of 2000 Vintage Port that my wife and I will drink in a few months to celebrate both of our birthdays along with her ascension to age 65 and he eagerly awaited ascension to Medicare health insurance. 😉 (yeah, she’s a bit weird that way).

        Chris in Owatonna (Have I bored you all to tears yet?)

        Liked by 5 people

        1. It started as a hobby when we were first married. Drank every cheap wine there was–Gallo, Almaden, Inglenook, etc. Then worked our way up to the $5 wines (in the early) 1980s. I got interested in fine wines and eventually got a job as a wine consultant at Surdyk’s for a few years.

          Chris

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  2. My maternal grandmother told me that one of her uncles bought a resort on the Baltic Sea in the 1890’s or early 20th ce century, but the first summer he owned it was one of the coldest summers on record and he had to declare bankruptcy.

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  3. BTW, forgot to put in my vote . . . Jim Hawkins all the way! T.I. was one of my all-time favorite childhood reads. I was SO inside Jim Hawkins’ head when the musket balls flew and the sabers flashed. Great fun and adventure.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We’re not much for wines… we haven’t found any reds that we like. We like the whites and there’s Moscoto that we *really* like.
    Course once opened, their shelf live declines quickly.
    I’m being silly.
    You all know once it’s opened it’s supposed to be drank and not put back in the fridge.

    I’m afraid I’m more Silver than I want to be.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. try sangria for reds

    spanish is pretty op on to starting grape then just add till you get it right

    cherries grapes peaches blueberries apples pears black berryborvreally any berry
    then off to potted fruits then the assyrian ones
    oranges tangerines apples grapes
    try different wines both red and white
    tapas erved as munching grazing good while you do the taste tests with sangria

    Liked by 2 people

  6. OT – Husband left this AM to drive our old friends Bill and Charlotte to Tucson, Arizona, from where Bill, hopefully, will be able to navigate his way to their lovely little casita in Kino, Mexico. Husband will fly back from Tucson. This is the third or fourth time husband has done this. Bill is close to ninety, and can’t see worth a damn, but once they get that far, it’s pretty much a straight shot until the reach Hermosillo and take a right turn. Charlotte is a a hopeless driver. She has lots of redeeming characteristics: smart, beautiful, funny, and great friend, but she’s a horrible driver.

    This afternoon I received a gorgeous flower arrangement delivered to my door. The enclosed note said: “Thanks for sharing your man! Love Bill and Charlotte.” I’m so glad I’m not running for public office. Can you imagine what could have become of that on social media?

    Liked by 5 people

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