On May 6th, the world will once again turn their attention to England as we witness a near millennia old ceremony that will bring us the crowning of a new English monarch. In October’s post, we delved into the shared space between the world of wine and Queen Elizabeth. Not surprisingly, there is a shared space for King Charles, his Court, and wine. He does ascend to the throne with some history and family drama, so perhaps some of us will view this event from various opinions. Regardless of who’s narrative you follow, there are wine pairings with historical context for whatever team you might be on.
Charles – it’s a sure bet that Champagne will be served. Long a mainstay at Court, select producers like Pol Roger, Lanson, and Veuve Clicquot carry the Royal Warrant signifying that they are approved to be served to royalty. Pol Roger has been served at many of the most recent Royal events, but is not the sole Champagne or sparkling wine to be served or recognized. In fact, Laurent-Perrier was the sole Champagne that was allowed to have the Prince of Wales Royal Warrant – granted by Charles. However, as quality of English sparkling wine has risen dramatically over the past decade, it is not unusual to find it served at Court as well. Charles has long been a supporter of sustainable English agriculture, viticulture, and products. Indeed, Gusborne has been chosen as the official sparkling wine for the Coronation. In fact, the area from where English sparkling wine, like Gusborne, is produced has soil that is a part of the larger geological formation called the Paris Basin, extending to where Champagne is located and ending in the Moselle region in Germany. It’s a limestone chalk that is exceptional for grapes meant for sparkling wine. A fascinating side note is that his cherished vintage 1970 Aston Martin DB6 runs on the by-products of wine and cheese.
Camilla – is known to be the one in the couple who enjoys red wine and was appointed, after her marriage to Charles, the president of the UK Vineyards Association. Recently, she and Charles were scheduled to travel, but forced to cancel due to the protests, to Bordeaux to open the new British Consulate in the city center and then tour Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan; an organic estate that utilizes solar energy and attempts to control their carbon emissions – keeping with Charles’ ethos of sustainable agriculture.
William and Catherine – an English sparkling wine, Chapel Down, was served at their wedding, along with the Pol Roger. It is said that they enjoy merlot-based wines, but are more of a pint and cocktail couple. As he is now the Prince of Wales, he will now be able to issue Royal warrants to wine that he serves – it will be interesting to see what gets chosen for this honor. During a recent tour in Canada, they visited the Mission Hill winery in British Columbia and were so smitten with their Bordeaux blend wine, the Oculus 2012, that they shipped some back to the UK. Perhaps, we will see New World wines being recognized?
Harry and Meghan – keeping with tradition, Pol Roger was served at their wedding. Harry is admittedly more of a tequila drinker; Meghan has a deep love of wine – inspired by a taste of the Super Tuscan Tignanello produced by Antinori. In fact, she loved it so much that she named her blog – Tig (the nickname for the wine). Another favorite wine of hers is reported to be Flowers Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. As she is staying in California to watch the kids, an on-point pairing for Team Meghan.
Diana – for those thinking of The People’s Princess, she leaned towards Chardonnay - Puligny Montrachet from Burgundy in particular – it was the wine most served at her home after her divorce from Charles. So, if you are watching the ceremonies with a side eye or raised eyebrow, pour yourself a healthy glass of Puligny Montrachet.
Regardless of what team you might be on, there is a libation to enjoy as we watch the grand pomp and circumstance of the coronation and begin the Carolean era. Through genealogy, I am personally a very distant Plantagenet connected to Henry II’s brother, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany. So, I do watch the antics of The House of Windsor and am eager to witness a Coronation – even if from the comfort of my own couch wearing pajamas with my glass of Puligny Montrachet and English sparkling wine.