I’m a huge James Bond fan. Ever since my mum took me to see Moonraker at the Chelmsford Odeon, I was hooked. If I’m channel-hopping at home and find a Bond film on (which is surprisingly quite often), then it stays on until the end. I even sleep with a Walther PPK under my pillow (you’re being silly now – Ed). For me, there is just something very comforting about a Bond film – the nostalgia, the glamour and the sheer over-the-top absurdity of it all, typified in 007’s penchant for throwaway gags after dispatching a baddie (‘He always did have an inflated opinion of himself’).
A constant in Bond films is his fondness for a drink or two, and given 007’s huge box-office draw, it was only a matter of time until wine and spirit companies got involved, keen to see their bottles on screen. In Moonraker, Bond spies a bottle of Champagne in Dr Goodhead’s hotel room and exclaims: ‘Bollinger! If it’s ’69, you were expecting me…’ – it goes without saying that everyone the world over would know a secret agent’s favourite vintage…
The latest Bond film, SPECTRE, is released in UK cinemas on 6 November and Champagne house Bollinger and vodka producer Belvedere have both launched limited-edition bottlings. Champagne Bollinger has featured in every Bond film of the past 40 years, first appearing in 1973’s Live And Let Die and continuing all the way through to SPECTRE. To mark the occasion, the Champagne house has launched a Bond-inspired bottle containing a unique cuvée from the 2009 vintage, and presented in a metal box that keeps the Champagne chilled for two hours after refrigeration. The cuvée is also available in limited-edition magnums (1.5 litres) and jeroboams (3 litres) – there’s also a swanky Crystal Ice Cooler Set featuring a magnum of Bollinger R.D. 1988 with a Saint Louis crystal ice bucket that bears the SPECTRE logo.
Belvedere’s 007 SPECTRE bottle bears the iconic 007 logo, James Bond gun barrel and the Belvedere Palace, as well as the octopus symbol of the evil SPECTRE organisation. The vodka, made from Polish rye and distilled four times, is perfect in a shaken-not-stirred Vodka Martini, or a Belvedere 007 Martini: simply shake 60ml of Belvedere with 7.5ml of dry vermouth over ice in a cocktail shaker, and garnish with a lemon twist.
All of these Bond-inspired bottles are now available from The Whisky Exchange. This mission is over, Commander… yes, The Spy Who Loved Me is my favourite Bond film, and it’s the best of the lot. And Roger Moore was the best Bond. Bring on the hate mail!