With the new James Bond film, Spectre, released in China this week, Decanter steps beyond product positioning on the big screen to discover what James Bond really drank in Ian Fleming's original novels. Clue: it wasn't just Bollinger and Dry Martinis.
The Dry Martini, shaken not stirred, is often considered the James Bond drink of choice, but Ian Fleming’s Bond certainly also had a taste for fine wines and Champagne.
Bond declared Taittinger Blanc de Blancs Brut 1943 as ‘probably the finest Champagne in the world’ in Casino Royale, the original James Bond novel first published in 1953. But, his taste proved somewhat fickle. In Moonraker, published only two years later, Bond says that Taittinger was ‘only a fad of mine’. He drank Dom Pérignon instead.
Bollinger, certainly a firm favourite in the films, did not feature quite so prominently in the books, but did appear in Diamonds are Forever and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Veuve Clicquot, Krug and Pommery also make appearances in the novels.
Goldfinger helps to widen Bond’s drinking taste when it comes to wine by serving him the Pommery 1950 vintage Champagne. He also introduces 007 to Château Mouton Rothschild 1947 and Piesporter Goldtropfchen 1953, Riesling from Germany’s Mosel area. Bond develops a taste for Mouton Rothschild, drinking the 1953 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Fleming’s James Bond also enjoys drinking Chianti on trains across Europe; in From Russia with Love he drinks it on the Orient Express. He then drinks it on the Laguna Express to Venice in For Your Eyes Only, where he spills it on the tablecloth.
It’s not all fine wines for the British spy; in Live and Let Die Bond drinks Liebfraumilch, the semi-sweet German wine that has gone from hero to zero for some wine drinkers in the UK and US. In the book, Fleming’s second and published in 1954, Bond and his friends enjoyed Liebfraumilch, declaring at one point that the contents of their glasses was ‘as good a Liebfraumilch as you can get in America’.
(Editing: Chris Mercer / Ellie Douglas)
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