What is the oldest bottle of wine?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What is the oldest bottle of wine?” We will also discuss the condition of the wine at present, the composition of the wine, and whether the wine is edible.

What is the oldest bottle of wine?

The oldest bottle of wine in the world is the Speyer wine bottle. Researchers estimate the 1.5-liter (51 US fl oz) bottle originated in Germany during the fourth century BCE. According to the information available, it dates to around 325 AD – 350 AD. 

The bottle was discovered in 1867 as one of 16 in a sarcophagus in the tomb of a Roman aristocrat and his wife. Among the 16 other bottles found in the tomb, it was the only one that was still undamaged.

The liquid is assumed to have lasted this long as olive oil was poured into the bottle and was sealed with wax. This can help preserve the wine to some extent. Many experts have questioned whether the wine should be opened and studied since its discovery. For the time being, the bottle remains unopened in the Pfalz Historical Museum collection in Speyer, Germany.

What is the condition of the oldest bottle of wine at present?

Although the Speyer wine bottle is the oldest bottle of wine in history, it is no longer considered a wine. This is because, throughout the years, the wine inside the bottle has turned into something totally different altogether. 

In ancient times, people would frequently pour olive oil into wine bottles. They believed that sealing the drink from the outside air could preserve the wine, so they used this method to preserve wine. This procedure may have worked for a while, but it cannot withstand decades of age. 

As a result, the bottle now contains the remains of a transparent liquid that is no longer alcohol. It doesn’t contain even the slightest percentage of ethanol anymore. A hard, rosin-like substance fills roughly two-thirds of the bottle above this liquid.

What is the wine in Speyer’s bottle made of?

Although no one has really tasted the wine in Speyer’s bottle, it was most likely prepared from grapes grown locally during Roman rule. It is also believed that different unknown herbs were also added, possibly as flavor or as a preservative. This is believed to be the composition of the wine previously many decades ago, but at present time, the residue inside is no longer wine. 

It is made up of a solid, black mass and a milky liquid. Even the survival of that remnant is unusual. A very well-made bottle that remained airtight over centuries, a wax seal, and a generous amount of olive oil kept the contents from completely evaporating. In fact, more oil was put into the bottle than wine, resulting in the dense, solid layer seen through the glass.

Can you drink the wine inside Speyer’s bottle?

Yes, you definitely can drink the wine inside Speyer’s bottle, but we are not so sure if you should, or if it is possible to drink it. Different researchers have revealed that the wine is safe and won’t harm you if you consume it. However, just because they are safe doesn’t necessarily mean that the wine will taste good.

Likewise, the Speyer’s wine bottle is not something you can get a taste of just because you want to. It is kept in one of the biggest museums in Germany, which does not even allow the bottle to be opened for any research purpose. So, you can forget about getting your hands on that wine.  You’d have to steal the wine away from the museum’s staff who are terrified of handling the bottle. It is difficult to stay calm when you have been assigned to keep the old wine bottle safe.

Not that anyone would want to drink the wine in reality because it’s not even a wine anymore. All the ethanol content from the wine has been wiped throughout the years, which is replaced by a black residue. I don’t think anyone would like to pour that substance into their mouths even though it is safe. For more information, please click the link here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What is the oldest bottle of wine?” We have also discussed the condition of the wine at present, the composition of the wine, and whether the wine is edible.