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 years after its vintage year. The most recent available Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill dates back to 2008 and was released in 2018. The oldest vintage of this champagne dates to 1975, and saw release in 1984.
The official recipe of this champagne is as secretive as the underground bunker that saw its namesake plot victory over his wartime opponents, but the grapes are plucked from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards. The ratio is typically 40:60 in favour of the latter, though this may vary depending on the vintage.
Sir Winston Churchill remains synonymous with champagne to this day, with his love for grapes almost as legendary as his tactical prowess during wartime. Never worry about the impact that magnums of wine had upon him, however. As the man that many consider history's greatest Briton explained, "‘I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."