Wine has a long, rich history that dates back to many centuries ago. Over time, these refreshing alcoholic beverages have exhibited the ability to survive for hundreds of years. Some have even remained in existence for over 1,600 years and counting.
This post highlights the top 4 oldest remaining wines, which have been discovered in different countries across the globe. Most interestingly, some of these wines are thought to have been originally possessed by historically prominent people including Thomas Jefferson – the 3rd US President who served from 1797-1801. And as far as their monetary values are concerned, they are valued today at around $40,000 and up!
If that’s not in your price range, don’t beat yourself up because there are still plenty of excellent options suitable for your budget.
1. The Speyer (Römerwein) Wine
- Date: 325 AD – 350 AD
- Origin: Germany
Having been in existence for surprisingly 1,696 years and counting, Römerwein is thought to be the oldest wine in the world. This wine was unearthed in 1867 near Speyer, Germany with the bottle’s content fully intact. However, it seems that the content inside the bottle is no longer wine after surviving for that long. Notably, wax and olive oil were detected inside the bottle, which gives a clue of how ancient people preserved beverages.
Yearning to see this wine with your own eyes? If so, take a trip to the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer, Germany where the beverage is currently preserved. Though the bottle has never been opened since its discovery more than 150 years ago, experts have mixed feelings as to whether it should be and the content of it studied or not.
2. The Strasbourg Wine
- Date: 1472
- Origin: France
Strasbourg Wine was found inside a whole wine barrel with several liters of wine dating back to 1472. This barrel was discovered in the cellars beneath the University Hospital of Strasbourg, a city in Southern France. Unlike the Speyer wine bottle, the barrel, which is marked with the year 1472, has been opened and its content tasted exactly 3 times: in 1576, 1716, and 1944. The circumstances that led to these openings and tastings were when the country was celebrating the alliance between Strasbourg and Zurich, also when the University Hospital had burned down, and when Strasbourg was liberated by General Leclerc in WWII.
Additionally, the barrel has been recently opened (in 2014) and its contents transferred to a new barrel since it had begun leaking. Now it sits in a new egg-shaped barrel hand-made by Jean-Marie Blanchard and Xavier Gouraud who are some of the most highly honored French coopers.
3. The Tokaji Wine from the Royal Saxon Cellars
- Date: 1650 – 1690
- Origin: Germany
Believed to be between 331-371 years old, Tokaji Wine is arguably the third oldest wine in the world. This wine was certified as authentic vintage wine from the royal cellar of Augustus II. Unfortunately, it was sold in an auction that was held in Dresden in 1927 for an amount that has never been disclosed.
However, there are many other incredible vintage options on the market that you can easily get your hands on – 1995 Barbaresco vintage wine being one of my favorites.
Brewed in the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy, this 26-year-old wine offers an absolutely refreshing taste with a sensational aroma that will go perfectly well with any well-thought-out delicacy such as beef bulgogi bowls, teriyaki ginger-glazed salmon, or roast chicken breasts with spiced cauliflower and green romesco. You can actually order ingredients like these, plus delicious recipes from Home Chef, Hello Fresh, and Sun Basket, respectively. Here’s an incredible comparison post covering HC and HF that I found very helpful!
4. The Rüdesheimer Apostelwein Wine
- Date: 1727
- Origin: Germany
- Worth: $200,000
Valued at a whopping $200,000, Rüdesheimer Apostelwein wine is arguably the fourth oldest wine in the world. Originating from the historic 12 Apostles’ cellar in the Bremer Ratskeller found in Bremen, Germany, this 294-year-old wine was officially transferred from the original barrel into several bottles in the 1960s. Though it has almost seen 3 long centuries, the beverage is still deemed drinkable. According to those who are lucky enough to have tasted it, this wine tastes good thanks to a high sugar flavor that has been self-brewed and self-perfected for hundreds of years. Though the wine is quite rare, a few bottles of it are still available for sale for those who can afford to spend that much on vintage wine for their collection!
Wine is a timeless alcoholic beverage that goes well with a wide range of delicacies, and I enjoy sampling *and* learning about different ones on my travels throughout the world. I find the history tied to wines quite fascinating. The Speyer Wine (Römerwein), Strasbourg Wine, Tokaji Wine, and Rüdesheimer Apostelwein Wine are believed to be some of the oldest remaining wines in the world. Have you heard of these wines before? What are your favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!