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When we think of Sir Winston Churchill, many associations spring to mind. Beyond the bulldog spirit, inspirational speeches and devastating way with a one-liner, however, are you also aware that Churchill was an early adopter of magnums? As the famously hard-drinking politician quipped, "a magnum is the perfect size for two gentlemen to have over lunch, especially if one isn’t drinking.” A man of voracious appetites, champagne was Churchill's tipple of choice, most notably Pol Roger. The former Prime Minister claimed to have sunk at least 42,000 bottles of this vintage during his lifetime. Perhaps this was what inspired Churchill to deliver another his most celebrated quotations during WW2 – "Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for. It’s Champagne." The Pol Roger distillery, located in Épernay, mark their appreciation to their famous devotee by naming a champagne after him. Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is typically released ten...

February 18, 2019 written by Dave Green 0 comments

Champagne has long been considered the gold standard for celebratory drinks. Even its Italian counterpart Prosecco, whilst hugely growing in popularity, fails to enjoy quite the same reputation. How about English sparkling wines, however? Can homegrown products stand toe-to-toe with France's finest export? Believe it or not, English sparkling wine actually predates champagne. The French monk Dom Pierre Perignon invented the beverage that bears his name in 1697. Christopher Merrett, a British scientist that hailed from the Cotswolds, first coined the term 'sparkling' in relation to wine in 1662. Merrett was the first person to document secondary fermentation, or the addition of sugar and molasses to wines to enhance their carbonated quality. Visit the small town of Winchcombe and you'll find a plaque that memorialises this achievement. The rivalry between English sparkling wine and champagne did not begin and end in the 17th Century, however. In the modern era, more...

February 18, 2019 written by Dave Green 0 comments

Few classic vintages carry as much heritage as port. A great addition to the table of any dinner party and a natural accompaniment to a cheese board, it's pivotal to understand how port should be shared and imbibed. We need to look back to classic nautical practices to understand this! Firstly, port should always be decanted and placed in the middle of the table, to the right of the host. From there, tradition dictates that the glass of the guest to your right is filled, then the bottle passed to the left. Are you seeing the naval theme yet? Port is, of course, the nautical left to starboard’s right. This is a ritual known as Pass the Port. Has the guest to your neglected to pass the bottle? Outright asking for the decanter is a strict no-no under the etiquette of Pass the Port. Instead, you will be expected to...

February 18, 2019 written by Dave Green 0 comments