The Fascinating Connection Between Winston Churchill And Pol Roger Champagne

Winston Churchill making Victory sign, black and white
Winston Churchill making Victory sign, black and white - H. F. Davis/Getty Images

As one of England's most prominent prime ministers in history, who rallied the English people and helped the country toward victory in World War II, Winston Churchill had plenty of reasons throughout his life to celebrate with Champagne. And indeed, he was a noted fan of the French sparkling wine. All of his favorite drinks were quite well documented, and he's also known to have enjoyed whisky, Cognac, and brandy.

In fact, Churchill loved Johnnie Walker whisky so much that he once painted an ode to it and cocktails such as a Scotch-and-Cointreau tipple are named for him. Champagne may just have been a favorite, though, especially one brand in particular: Pol Roger. There are many different types of Champagne made by various houses, or businesses, in the Champagne region of France. Pol Roger, founded in 1849, is known to be one of the best.

It's said that Churchill had been a fan since all the way back in 1906. In 1944, he was at a dinner party hosted by the British ambassador to France, Duff Cooper, and his wife Lady Diana Cooper, and the latter seated Churchill next to Odette Pol Roger of the Pol Roger Champagne house. The two became fast friends, and both their friendship and Churchill's affinity for Pol Roger Champagne resulted in many tributes over the years.

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Pol Roger Continues To Honor Winston Churchill With A Special Champagne Today

Hand pouring Champagne into flutes
Hand pouring Champagne into flutes - barmalini/Shutterstock

Every year, Odette Pol Roger would send Winston Churchill a case of vintage Champagne for his birthday. In a way of saying thank you and marking his devotion to the brand, Churchill named one of his racehorses for Pol Roger. Then, when the former prime minister died in 1965, Pol Roger bordered the labels of its bottles that would be sold in the United Kingdom in black as a sign of mourning. Nineteen years later in 1984, Pol Roger showed that it had not forgotten about its admirable and influential friend and fan.

The brand released the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, which was a 10-year-old vintage Champagne from 1975. It was a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Churchill's passing. The Champagne named for Winston Churchill is one of the most prestigious of all of Pol Roger's already prestigious wines. It is essentially a Grand Cru Pinot Noir, though much more information about how it's made is hard to come by as the house protects its trade secrets.

In order to maintain the quality of the sparkling wine, Pol Roger manufactures the vintage in relatively small batches, and the resulting rarity makes Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill all the more special. Pol Roger says that the wine is made intentionally to feature the characteristics that the prime minister appreciated in Champagne: robustness, structure, and maturity. Vintages are still released, a treat for the collector and Champagne enthusiast that makes it possible to raise a glass to Winston Churchill with the drink he loved best.

Read the original article on Tasting Table