James Bond's palate is about to expand beyond the martinis and Champagne he customarily savors. In his latest movie, "Casino Royale," opening in cinemas Friday, he'll also be a claret man, reports the English wine magazine Decanter.
According to the magazine, Bond will be enjoying a bottle of the 1982 Chateau Angelus while crossing Montenegro in a railway dining car. Chateau Angelus is a premier grand cru classe from St-Emilion in Bordeaux. (When Decanter posted the article on its Web site, readers weighed in with several comments, noting, among other things, that one critic a decade ago panned the '82 as "diffuse and flabby," while another correspondent warned that serving such a wine in a dining car isn't a good idea, especially on the rough tracks of Montenegro.)
Despite Bond's appreciation for Bordeaux in "Casino Royale," he isn't giving up his cherished Champagne Bollinger, which he has sipped in 10 films, starting with "Moonraker" in 1979. Bollinger, founded in 1829 and celebrated for its distinctively dry and toasty style, makes three kinds of Champagne. Bond apparently likes them all. In the past, he's favored the Bollinger R.D. (Recently Disgorged), the Special Cuvee and various vintages of La Grand Annee, the most prestigious release in the lineup. In "Casino Royale," he'll be drinking the Bollinger La Grand Annee 1990, a wine currently selling for $100 to $150 a bottle if you can find it. (The most recent release is the La Grand Annee 1997, generally selling for about $90 a bottle.)
William Terlato, president and chief executive officer of Paterno Wines International, the exclusive importer of Champagne Bollinger, believes that the collaboration between Bond and Bollinger "is the longest-running brand marketing partnership in film industry history."
Nonetheless, in book and film Bond has shown an affinity for other Champagnes, notably the 1943 Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blanc, the 1953 Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot. This time around, however, Bollinger again has his number.