Treasure seekers find rare wine in Nazi bunker

But will it be drinkable?

Updated: 
Generic image of old wine bottles in wooden box

Two Polish treasure hunters have unearthed two bottles of wine hidden by the Nazis more than 70 years ago.

The two, who prefer not to be named, were exploring a network of Third Reich of tunnels near Swinoujscie, a city in north-western Poland when they found a narrow corridor which dodn't appear to have been explored before.

Inside, they found a helmet, some uniform buttons and a wooden box of ammunition - which also tuned out to hold two bottles of 1930s Bordeaux wine.

The red 1938 Chateaux Grand Barrail Lamarzelle and white 1939 Chateau Latour-Matillac were intact, although the label of one was decayed. It's not known whether the wine will be drinkable - although the low temeratures in the bunker may have made it a very effective wine cellar.

"I personally think it probably isn't worth drinking but there are still people that might want to take a punt," wine expert Izydor Wysock tells the Daily Mail. "Of course there are those that would never want to open it and simply want to have such a historical bottle in their collection."

Many good wines improve with age - although not to the degree that most people think. Wine expert Jancis Robinson has suggested that only the top 10% or red wines and top 5% of whites are better after five years than one. Bordeaux is generally considered to be at its best after between eight and 25 years.

That said, wine sometimes stays drinkable for a lot longer. Four years ago, Finnish divers recovered several crates of champagne and beer from a sunken ship that had been at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for nearly two centuries. And, after analysing the wine, they drank it.

"Despite the fact that it was so amazingly old, there was a freshness to the wine. It wasn't debilitated in any way," said wine expert Ella Grussner Cromwell-Morgan, who sampled it along with the scientists.

"Rather, it had a clear acidity which reinforced the sweetness. Finally, a very clear taste of having been stored in oak casks."

But investing in old wine is a risky business - investors need to be experts themselves or get advice from someone that is. And, warn the police, many would-be investors have been ripped off by unscrupulous dealers.

"Fine wines can make a good, relatively low risk long-term investment. However as with all types of business, there are rogue wine traders who are intent on conning people out of their money," warns the Met.

This summer, American wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan was sentenced to ten years in prison and ordered to pay fines and compensation of over $48 million for faking valuable wine. He'd been using his expertise to blend together younger wines with older French wines of poor vintage, and then slapping counterfeit labels on the bottles.

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