The Story Behind James Bond’s Favorite Champagne
Bollinger—which has been featured in 14 Bond movies— is now selling Spectre-branded bubbly.
You probably already know about the old-timey associations that link James Bond to Aston-Martin roadsters, Walther PPK pistols and shaken-not-stirred martinis, but 007 has long enjoyed a less-heralded relationship with Bollinger Champagne.
First mentioned in Ian Fleming’s 1956 spy novel Diamonds Are Forever, Bollinger has been stealthily featured in 14 Bond movies, albeit in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scenes. Roger Moore was the first Bond to order Bollinger on-screen when he rang up room service in 1973’s Live and Let Die and requested a bottle of Bollinger, “slightly chilled, two glasses.” (You dog!)
Metal-mouthed baddie Jaws bites the cork off a bottle in Moonraker, before sharing its bubbly contents with a pig-tailed blonde. Pierce Brosnan asks for a ’61 Bollinger in Die Another Day. And, perhaps most memorably, Daniel Craig abruptly stops making out with a beautiful woman on the floor of his hotel room to order another bottle of “chilled Bollinger” from room service in Casino Royale.
As Bollinger is set to make its 15th Bond appearance in Spectre, the origins of the partnership are as old-school as the super spy himself. As legend has it, Bond movie producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli made a handshake agreement with Bollinger general manager Christian Bizot over a wine-soaked dinner in France in 1978, uncorking a relationship that has somehow persevered to this day.
“They had a beautiful dinner, they spoke about love, about wine, about values,” Bizot’s nephew Cyril Delarue, who is the U.S. commercial director of Bollinger, tells Maxim. “The values expressed by James Bond were shared by Bollinger, and it was the sharing of these views that led to a gentleman’s agreement.”
While Bollinger’s cameo was cut from Skyfall, Delarue says he’s been assured that it will be spotted somewhere in Spectre, which he has yet to see.
“They told us, ‘In Spectre you will be very well represented.’ So we really hope we have a good scene. It’s a partnership. We don’t pay for it, we just pick the Champagne.”
But Bollinger still aims to capitalize on the long-standing association with two new Spectre-branded Champagnes available now.
The Spectre Limited Edition contains a unique 2009 Bollinger cuvée, a blend of 68 percent pinot noir and 32 percent Chardonnay, released to celebrate the bubbly’s Bond legacy.
The $229 bottle is encased in a chillbox which keeps it cold for up to two hours after refrigeration, helping to avoid inconvenient trips to the fridge should you happen to be otherwise occupied—you know, like Craig was in Casino Royale.
The stunt-ier option, of course, is the $9,500 Crystal Set, which includes a magnum of Bollinger’s 1988 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend. At 30 pounds and two feet tall, it’s a bottle fit for Bond, or better yet, Rick Ross, to spray all over a VIP nightclub banquette. Just be sure to bring that fancy crystal case home at the end of the night.