Wine from Civil War-era shipwreck to be uncorked in South Carolina
By Harriet McLeod
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - An intact bottle of wine recovered four years ago from the wreck of a Civil War blockade runner that sank off the coast of Bermuda in 1864 is going to be uncorked and sipped on Friday during a food festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
How the wine tastes, and the story of its origin, will be revealed at a Charleston Wine + Food event titled "From Deep Below: A Wine Event 150 Years in the Making."
About 50 people bought tickets to hear firsthand what is inside one of the bottles and will watch as a panel of wine experts taste it Friday evening, organizers said.
"It's a surprise," Bermuda Tourism Authority spokesman Campbell Levy said. "We compare it to a baby. You don't know whether it's going to be a hideous baby or a beautiful baby."
The wine is one of five sealed bottles recovered by marine archaeologists from the Mary-Celestia, an iron-hulled sidewheel steamship that sank under mysterious circumstances during the U.S. Civil War.
The boat was leaving Bermuda with supplies for the Confederate states when it struck a reef and sank in six minutes, said Philippe Rouja, a cultural anthropologist and custodian of historic shipwrecks for the Bermudan government.
Whether the sinking was deliberate or accidental has been a source of debate.
Rouja and his brother, Jean-Pierre Rouja, were diving on the shipwreck in 2011 after winter storms swept over the site when they found a bottle of wine inside a secret boatswain's locker in the bow. Continued...