Iconic super-spy James Bond is synonymous with the Martini cocktail – shaken, not stirred, of course. Yet in the course of his adventures, this well-mannered man of mystery sampled more than his fair share of the world’s most exclusive wines.
Although Bond had a budget most of us would be envious of, you can still drink like James Bond fairly affordably. Using the novels as reference, here’s our handy guide to 007’s wine menu:
- Champagne: James Bond loved many women, but he was loyal to only one Champagne. From the very first Bond novel, Casino Royale, 007’s fizz of choice was vintage Taittinger. He drank the vintage Blanc de Blancs (made from 100% Chardonnay, and easily $300 a bottle) but secret agents on a budget will be well-served by Taittinger Brut La Francaise – a Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend with delicious peach and candied lemon accents, retailing for less than $50.
Fun Facts: In the original James Bond novels, author Ian Fleming misspelled Bond’s signature champagne as Tattinger.
- Red Wine: Surprisingly, James Bond had low expectations when it came to red wine. Although he happily swigged Mouton Rothschild ’53 when his boss, M, offered it (currently more than $3,000 a bottle) when left to his own devices he enjoyed much simpler things. In From Russia With Love, he ordered a Brolio Chianti Classico, made from Tuscan Sangiovese (around $20 a bottle.)
Fun Facts: In many James Bond novels, M’s signature wine is mentioned – a rough Algerian red nicknamed The Infuriator. Algerian wine is notoriously difficult to find in America, but when you do track it down, is both modestly priced and delicious.
- White Wine: Like most of his wines, Bond prefers French – drinking both Loire Valley Vouvray – a Chenin Blanc rated the best in France – and white Macon made from Chardonnay from the Burgundy region. You can find great examples of both at your local wine store, for under $20 a bottle.
Fun facts: When dining with the titular bad guy in Goldfinger, Bond indulges in a bottle of Piesporter Goldtröpfchen – chosen by Goldfinger for it’s golden hue, but described by Bond as “Nectar.” This delicious Riesling is available for about $25 from most good wine stores.
Many people are surprised to find that some of the wines the world’s most famous super-spy enjoyed are commonly available, and not unrealistically priced. While there’s much about 007’s lifestyle we can only dream about emulating – there’s no reason why we can’t start enjoying wine like him today!