Would a bottle of wine from the Titanic still be drinkable?

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In August of 1985, a US Navy-sponsored expedition lead by marine archeologist Robert Ballard was struggling to find the wreck of the Titanic. Ballard and his crew were given twelve days to sweep a potential resting place of more than 150 square miles using new technology that allowed for exploration below 10,000 feet. One week into the expedition, Ballard and his crew propitiously stumbled across the Titanic’s “debris field,” a large trail of debris left by the ship as it broke in half and sank to the ocean floor.

The debris field contained millions of objects: suitcases, clothes, bathtubs, jugs, bowls, hand mirrors and numerous other personal effects. One item that caught Ballard’s eye in particular were fully intact wine bottles, which appeared to still contain their corks.

The number of wine bottles scattered around the Titanic—an ocean liner whose main appeal was its luxury—isn’t a surprise. The ship’s first class passengers enjoyed extremely elaborate, 10-course dinners, with accompanying wine pairings for each dish. Corks retreived from the wreck indicate that Champagne from Moët and Heidsieck & Co. was popular on board.

A man holds a lunch menu recovered from the Titanic.

Champagne-style wines were favoured on the Titanic because they could be easily chilled after being brought onto the ship. Bordeaux wines were less favoured because the rumble from the enormous steam engines could dislodge sediment from inside the bottle. To slake the thirst of its first class passengers, the Titanic held more than 12,000 bottles of wine in its cellar.

This begs the question: if photographs indicate that the wreck of the Titanic holds thousands of sealed, unbroken bottles, could some of that wine still be drinkable?

It’s difficult to say, mainly because samples from the wreck are few and far between. Ballard himself refused to take bottles of wine from the wreck, claiming that doing so would be tantamount to grave robbing:

“Maritime collectors around the world would have paid thousands of dollars for a piece of the ship… How I would have loved a bottle of Titanic champagne for my own wine cellar. But from all our discussions it became clear that the Titanic has no true archaeological value… Recovering a chamber pot or a wine bottle or a copper cooking pan would really just be pure treasure-hunting.”

Bottles claiming to be from the wreck of the Titanic do occasionally appear at auctions, but the ship’s extensive wine collection remains mostly undisturbed on the ocean floor.

Experts taste wine from a 151-year-old US Civil War shipwreck at an event in Charleston, South Carolina. Attendees claimed the wine tasted like “crab water, gasoline, salt water, vinegar, with hints of citrus and alcohol.”

If other wrecks are any indication, however, there is some hope. A shipment of wines that lay buried in a wreck on the ocean floor for 138 years off the coast of Georgia was retrieved and tasted by divers in 1979, who described the wines as “incredibly good” (the collection contained 1839 red Bergundy of Cru quality, 1834 Port and 1830 Madeira).

In 2010, Finnish divers discovered several crates of champagne and beer from a sunken ship that had been at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for nearly 200 years. When changing pressures caused one of the champagne corks to pop out of its bottle, the divers tasted the wine and found that it was still drinkable.

“Bottles kept at the bottom of the sea are better kept than in the finest wine cellars,” Champagne expert Richard Juhlin explains. If experts like Juhlin are right, if there is anywhere wine could survive for 100 years, it’s the bottom of the ocean.

Perhaps the closest comparison we have to the Titanic is the RMS Republic, another massive White Star ocean liner which sunk in 1909 when it collided with the SS Florida. A key difference between the two wrecks is that the Republic experienced relatively little loss of life, making salvage efforts less prone to accusations of grave robbing.

Expeditions to the Republic have found a similarly large collection of wines: Moët & Chandon and Dom Ruinart champagnes; several Mosels, other white wines of uncertain origin, and some Bordeaux. When divers from a 1987 expedition opened a bottle of 1898 Moët & Chandon Champagne from the wreck, they found the wine to be “effervescent” and “wonderful.” When they sent some of the bottles to the New York office of Christie’s auction house, however, the wines were found to be malodorous and unpleasant.

“The bottles they brought us were debris,” Robert Maneker of Christie’s told The Wine Spectator in 1987. Experts at the auction house determined that the wine bottles were nothing more than a collection of “curiosities,” like “shrunken heads,” and said that newspaper reports estimating that the bottles could be worth up to $4,000 were “absolutely rubbish.”

If past shipwrecks are any indication then, the Titanic’s wine collection could have met a variety of fates. Fluctuations in temperature, bacteria and water pressure could have removed the seals of the bottles completely. Seepage might also have slowly replaced the original contents of the bottles with saltwater. Or perhaps some of the Titanic’s wine collection lies on the ocean floor still intact, after more than a century of deep sea cellaring, still waiting to be tasted. ♦

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The invisible Superyacht.

Plans for an ‘invisible’ superyacht which blends into the sea and makes those on board feel like they are ‘floating on air’ have been unveiled.

The 106-metre Mirage, which could cost as much as £200million, will be completely clad in specially mirrored glass which reflects the image of the sea back to onlookers.

This will make it look as if the 4,200-tonne vessel has ‘vanished’ to people from as little as 50 metres away – though any radar will still detect the yacht with plenty of time to manoeuvre. Meanwhile, the yacht’s own radar can also look out for smaller boats on a collision course, giving the captain time to take any evasive action.

'Invisible' superyacht: Mirage has been designed to 'vanish' into the sea and give its billionaire owner some privacy

 

‘Invisible’ superyacht: Mirage has been designed to ‘vanish’ into the sea and give its billionaire owner some privacy

 

Mirage will be completely clad in specially mirrored glass which reflects the image of the sea back to onlookers, making it invisible from 50 metres away

 

Designed to be the ultimate purchase for privacy-hungry billionaires, Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema.

The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots.

It was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to ‘disappear between water and sky’ and ‘blend into the horizon’.

Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct.

The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots

 

The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots

 

One of the 4,200-tonne vessel's stunning decks with luxurious steps leading between levels and striking glass fittings

One of the 4,200-tonne vessel’s stunning decks with luxurious steps leading between levels and striking glass fittings

 

A dining area on one of the superyacht's spacious decks with room to accommodate dozens of guests for parties

A dining area on one of the superyacht’s spacious decks with room to accommodate dozens of guests for parties

 

Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema. Pictured: The designers' vision of one of the six decks

Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema. Pictured: The designers’ vision of one of the six decks

‘The longest part was researching the reflective glass and how it would be built,’ he said.

‘The main reason in designing this yacht was to make something that belonged to its environment.

‘Most yachts nowadays stand out and break the horizon or the landscape, in a way, we have tried to minimise this effect.

A luxurious swimming pool area on the 'invisible' superyacht surrounded by satellites of sun loungers inches from the ocean

A luxurious swimming pool area on the ‘invisible’ superyacht surrounded by satellites of sun loungers inches from the ocean

 

The £200million vessel has steps leading down into the sea so its billionaire owner can take a dip from one of the lower decks

The £200million vessel has steps leading down into the sea so its billionaire owner can take a dip from one of the lower decks

‘The colour variable mirrored glass is developed by a German glass manufacturer, which has never been used on yachts before.

‘All the vertical panels on the yacht will have this finish. If you were on the water it would probably be invisible from over 50 metres away.

‘If you are on the yacht itself the mirror will project the yacht’s surroundings, so in a way, it will give you a floating on air effect when onboard.’

The 106-metre vessel was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to 'disappear between water and sky' and 'blend into the horizon'

The 106-metre vessel was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to ‘disappear between water and sky’ and ‘blend into the horizon’

 

Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct

Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct

Mr Van Geest declined to put a price on the Mirage, but maritime experts suggested £200million would be reasonable for such a unique, luxury vessel.

If that was an accurate price tag it would place Mirage in the top 10 of the world’s most expensive yachts.

The list is currently topped by the £4billion History Supreme, which is made of solid gold and owned by Malaysia’s richest man, Robert Knok.

The menacing looking superyacht ‘Black Swan

 

The’Black Swan’ boat features hidden balconies, an arrow-shaped tip and a pool that fades towards the sea

  • Called Black Swan, the concept yacht would be a floating palace for any billionaire who is bold enough to build it 
  • Stunning vessel features a multi-level pool, spacious sun deck, helipad and hidden balconies with sunloungers 
  • A helicopter platform on the top deck is accessed via a concealed lift, providing quick access to an airport or villa
The Sinister and Sleek Black Swan superyacht is said to be one of the most innovative designers of his generation, Timur Bozca has created a yacht concept made for the Bond villain in you.

The exterior includes a helicopter platform on the top deck, an extensive beach club and a pool. For the interior, a master suite and six guest suites accommodate up to 12 guests.The helicopter platform includes a concealed elevator that will bring guests to the aft deck where they can enjoy the extended beach club.

Two forward balconies are protected by glass railings, offering unobstructed views of the sea or sights in places such as the French Riviera or Caribbean.

A helicopter platform on the top deck is accessed via a concealed lift, allowing the owner and his or her guests to travel between the yacht and the airport or their villa without getting stuck in traffic.

Inside, a master suite and six guest cabins can accommodate 12 people.

Four engines give this superyacht an impressive horsepower rating of 23,172, and allow Black Swan to reach speeds up to 28 knots. At over 200 feet long, this eye-catching vessel is sure to make a statement on the open ocean.

Luxury Car Companies Building Yachts

There are some people who want to take their sports car with them on their yacht, and there others who want their yacht to be like their sports car. If you’re the latter, this list is for you.

Luxury car builders from Aston Martin to Bugatti, are venturing into the world of yachts, and with a clientele that can afford cars like the Bugatti Chiron at $2.9 million, sport yachts seem like a natural progression for these luxury brands.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin 37

Aston Martin 37

Carlo Borlenghi

Love cars? Love boats? Of course you do. The Aston Martin 37 should have any number of suitors who are looking for something sporty and a little bit different.

offtheclothboff.com  the-aston-martin-submarine

Bugatti

Bugatti Niniette 66

Bugatti Niniette 66

Courtesy Palmer Johnson

Bugatti’s venture into the yacht industry was first announced with renderings of the Niniette in 2015. Now, we have the first yacht in the Niniette line, a 66-footer to look forward to.

offtheclothboff.com The Matching pair Bugatti Chiron Supercar and Super Yatcht.

Mercedes-Benz

Arrow 460 Granturismo

Arrow 460 Granturismo

Courtesy Mercedes-Benz

Named for the fabled Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows racing cars of the 1930s, the Arrow 460 Granturismofollowed the same design process that Mercedes-Benz Style uses to create its luxury automobiles.

Jaguar

Concept Speedboat by Jaguar Cars

Concept Speedboat by Jaguar Cars

Courtesy Jaguar

This concept sport yacht is described at “Seductive Design” by Jaguar Cars. She was designed to complement the Jaguar XF Sportbrake and she has a carbon fiber fin inspired by the Jaguar D-Type. Jaguar collaborated with Ivan Erdevicki Naval Architecture & Yacht Design Inc. and Seventy Seven Design to draw up the concept. Now, we wait to see if she comes to fruition.

Lexus

Lexus, Lexus Sport Yacht, Motoryacht

Lexus Sport Yacht

Courtesy Lexus

Lexus stepped into the yacht-design world with its 42-foot Lexus Sport Yacht concept. A sleek, speedy, carbon-fiber vessel, this design takes Lexus luxury into new waters.

The Ferretti Yachts 920 is Living Large

Ferretti Yachts 920

The foredeck’s 172 square feet, which can be shaded, allow for two coffee tables, four sofas, and a sun pad for four or more.

Courtesy Ferretti Yachts

Ferretti Yachts ’ 920 expands the builder’s line to 11 models, from 45 feet to 96 feet, including both owner-operator vessels and fully crewed craft.

The 920 has a wide-body superstructure, allowing the interior to take ­advantage of the yacht’s 22-foot-2-inch girth with a full-beam, main-deck master that has a walk-in closet and en suite head. The space also allows for either four or five staterooms. The four-stateroom layout has two portside VIPs belowdecks with double berths and en suite heads; the fourth stateroom is across from the VIPs with twin berths. In the five-stateroom setup, the aftermost VIP’s berth changes position from fore and aft to athwartships, and the head moves from starboard to port, opening up real estate for another stateroom with twin berths.

Ferretti Yachts 920

Modern Classic

The 920’s salon, including the formal dining area for eight, measures a roomy 320 square feet. Note how the recessed lighting, textured veneers and low-slung furniture give the space a thoroughly contemporary feel, without sacrificing a certain elegant Italian ambience.

Courtesy Ferretti Yachts

The design’s space also allows for a transom garage that folds out to form a teak beach, submerges to create a swim platform or acts as a slipway for the ­optional 13-foot Williams jet tender.

There is 564 square feet of flybridge entertainment space with four layout options that can include an L-shaped wet bar, C-shaped sofa with teak table, chaise-style lounges for tanning and a retractable hardtop for cooling off.

Ferretti Yachts 920

Sanctuary

The main-deck master’s berth appears to float. Recessing its base creates this illusion. The design enhances the room’s sense of volume and increases floor space. Low-profile furniture and hullside windows augment the perception of space too. Headroom is 6 feet 7 inches.

Courtesy Ferretti Yachts

The 920 is also designed for summer-long cruises with its warped-hull form. Three diesel options (twin 1,948, 2,217 or 2,435 hp MTUs) allow a cruise speed from 23 to 26 knots with a top-end from 26.5 to 30 knots, according to Ferretti Yachts. The 920’s range at cruising speed varies between 340 and 360 nautical miles.

In other words, owners have ­plenty of space to move on the water too.

The Aston Martin…Submarine ?

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Aston Martin is proud to announce a creative collaboration with Triton Submarines, the acclaimed manufacturer of state–of-the-art submersibles.

Codenamed Project Neptune, the venture marries Triton’s diving and operational expertise with Aston Martin’s design, materials, and craftsmanship. Overseen by Aston Martin Consulting, the partnership has shaped a unique concept that will lead to an exclusive, strictly-limited edition vehicle.

28 September 2017, Monaco: Aston Martin is proud to announce a creative collaboration with Triton Submarines LLC, the acclaimed manufacturer of state–of-the-art submersibles. Codenamed Project Neptune, the venture enables Aston Martin to further enhance and grow the brand into new aspects of the luxury world, with all the performance, beauty and elegance one has come to expect from the British marque.

Triton has unparalleled expertise in the design, manufacture and operation of submersibles for researchers, explorers and superyacht owners. Founded in Florida by L. Bruce Jones and Patrick Lahey, the team at Triton are committed to producing the safest and best performing, deep-diving submersibles in the world.

Project Neptune marries Triton’s diving and operational expertise with Aston Martin’s design, materials, and craftsmanship. Overseen by Aston Martin Consulting, the partnership has shaped a unique concept that will lead to an exclusive, strictly-limited edition vehicle. Project Neptune takes Triton’s acclaimed Low Profile (LP) three-person platform as a basis upon which to explore a new iteration of Aston Martin’s progressive design language.

Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and his team have transformed Triton’s compact LP platform, creating a vehicle with inherently beautiful proportions. ‘Project Neptune is defined by its sleek, elegant exterior,’ says Reichman, ‘we have used forms and proportions that express the same devotion to design, engineering and beauty that shape our cars, such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar project.’

Patrick Lahey, President of Triton Submarines LLC said: “We have always admired Aston Martin. The marque represents a deeply held passion for technology, engineering and timeless, elegant design. From our first interaction, it was apparent that Triton and Aston Martin were natural partners and our complimentary values will be realised in this truly exciting project.”

Aston Martin Consulting provides design, engineering and manufacturing services to select industries, distilling the brand’s essence into exciting new projects without compromising Aston Martin’s fundamental qualities. Aston Martin Consulting draws upon the exceptional skills of Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams, creating credible partnerships that go beyond the automotive sector and yet still demonstrate the love of innovation, beauty and craftsmanship.

Aston Martin Consulting Managing Director, Bradley Yorke-Biggs said: ‘Project Neptune is a flagship project for Aston Martin Consulting. It is a clear and engaging demonstration of how Aston Martin’s expertise in sports car design and craftsmanship can be extended into new aspects of the luxury world.”

ENQUIRE: www.astonmartin.com/projectneptune

Flying Flipper’s Superfly GT 42

Flying Flipper, a Scandinavian boatbuilder with a memorable name, launched its Superfly GT 42 recently at the Cannes Yachting Festival.

The 42-foot-8-inch, high-performance vessel has power options ranging from twin 400 hp Mercury outboards up to triple 627 hp Seven Marines that should have this boat absolutely well, flying, through the water.

Superfly GT 42, Flying Flipper, RED Yacht Design

The boat’s cockpit has a table for alfresco dining that rises and lowers at the push of a button.

Courtesy Flying Flipper

Flying Flipper collaborated with Turkey-based RED Yacht Design and boat racer Sigurd Isaacson to create a sleek vessel with an air-step racing hull, for extra cushioning and control when she really gets up and goes.

The company also managed to incorporate lots of carbon fiber into the build to maximize strength while keeping weight down. Two cabins, forward and aft, down below make this boat able to handle overnights, but where we think she will really succeed is as a fast, sporty dayboat perfect for making a run to your favorite sandbar.

Superfly GT 42, Flying Flipper, RED Yacht Design

The dayboat’s salon and galley area has a carbon fiber countertop and table.

Courtesy Flying Flipper

Superfly GT 42, Flying Flipper, RED Yacht Design

The Superfly GT 42 has a double-berth master stateroom aft and a guest stateroom with two twin berths forward.

Courtesy Flying Flipper