We love some age on our bottles, and a few years in the cellar usually does the trick. But on Sunday, a report published in the Journal of Archaeological Science announced that a reddish-brown liquid found in a Roman funeral urn in 2019 was confirmed to be the oldest liquid wine ever discovered.

The urn was found in the town of Carmona in southwestern Spain when a family uncovered a sunken tomb on their property following a construction project. The homeowners immediately reached out to the local archaeological department, which was surprised to find that the site — unlike most ancient Roman tombs — hadn’t been raided or looted. Upon further excavation, archaeologists discovered eight burial niches and six urns, each made from either limestone, sandstone, lead, or glass and containing the cremated bones of different Roman men. Among the urns’ contents was a glass flask filled with roughly five liters of what experts at the University of Córdoba say is a sherry-like wine.

After ruling out the possibility that the liquid had come from condensation or flooding, organic chemist José Rafael Ruiz Arrebola and his team embarked on a formal analysis of the mysterious slurry. Early tests showed that the liquid had a PH level of 7.5 and a chemical makeup similar to that of wine.

“We looked for polyphenols exclusively from wine – and we found seven wine polyphenols,” Ruiz Arrebola told The Guardian. “We compared those polyphenols with those from wines from this part of Andalucía – and they matched. So that confirmed it was wine.”

The wine’s reddish-brown color upon discovery was not enough to confirm whether it was a red or white wine at its bottling due to the chemical reactions that potentially took place over its roughly 2,000-year slumber. The chemists performed further rounds of testing and noted that the absence of syringic acid — which forms when red wine pigments decompose — proves that the liquid was made from a white grape varietal.

“The wine turned out to be quite similar to wines from here in Andalucía: Montilla-Moriles; sherry-type wines from Jerez, and manzanilla from Sanlúcar,” Ruiz Arrebola told The Guardian.

Up until this remarkable discovery, the oldest-known sample of liquid wine was the famous Speyer wine bottle: a sketchy-looking sample found in another Roman tomb in Germany in 1867. Scientists believe that the Speyer bottle dates back to sometime between 300 and 350 A.D.

For anyone curious about the drinkability of the 2,000-year-old wine, Ruiz Arrebola told The Guardian that “it’s not in the least bit toxic – we’ve done the microbiological analysis.” Still, we’d be hesitant to sip on anything that’s been marinating in cremated bones for any amount of time.