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PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 12:00am

You too can live like royalty when a selection of wines from the legendary imperial winery at Massandra in Russia is auctioned in December by Sotheby's. The wines include many from the imperial era bearing the seal of Tsar Nicholas II and vintages from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Produced from vineyards that stretch almost the entire south coast of the Crimea, Massandra wines embrace a huge range of sweet styles, from sherry to madeira, port and marsala, as well as tokay and muscat.

The Massandra Collection comprises examples of every vintage from the late 19th century and all of the 20th century - except 1941, which was poured into the sea in the face of the Nazi invasion. The rest of the collection was hidden in secret locations. It is said this was the first (and probably the last) time the Black Sea turned red.

The Sotheby's sale takes place in London on Friday, December 3.