Drink by royal appointment
18th May 2018
Ahead of the royal wedding, James Viner chooses four delicious tipples which boast that all-important royal seal of approval
Getting in the mood for the royal wedding ceremony at midday this Saturday, May 19, in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, I've decided to celebrate some stately drinks which have been granted a royal warrant.
Businesses that have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales can request a royal warrant.
Once accepted, warrant holders can display the royal coat of arms and the words 'by appointment'. And all of these will make the perfect toast to Harry and Meghan's nuptials.
REGAL TOASTY/TOASTING CHAMPAGNE
Champagne Pol Roger White Foil Brut Réserve Nv, France
(£36.25-£43, The Whisky Exchange & The Wine Society)
Pol Roger is perhaps best known as Sir Winston Churchill's preferred champagne, and was the first house to hold the royal warrantway back in 1877. It was served at the wedding reception of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in April 2011. The house remains family-owned and has a name for creatingchampagnesof grace and elegance which cellar very well. Blended from 30 still wines with three years inthe cavernous cellars beneath Épernay, this isthe perfect
apéritif champagne (also top-notch with spicy dishes and fish and chips).
FULL-BODIED SMOKY & PEATYSCOTCH WHISKY
Laphroaig Ten-Year Old Malt Whisky, Scotland
(£30-£38.95, Sainsbury's & Whisky Exchange)
Laphroaig/D Johnston & Co's Royal Warrant of Appointment to the Prince of Wales was first granted in 1994. Smoky, phenolic, medicinal and Lapsang Souchong-like,Laphroaig (pronounced 'Laff-roy-g') is
undoubtedly the mosticonic Islay marque - the Marmite of whisky, if you will, which you'll either love or loathe. A classic dram that's reminiscent of dried seaweed and much enjoyed by HRH The Prince of Wales. Just the ticket for Teriyaki salmon.
SMOOTH AND MELLOW COGNAC FAVOURITE FROM CHURCHILL'S CABINET
Hine Rare Vsop Cognac, France
(£46-£50, Master Of Malt & Waitrose)
Hine is rightly esteemed by the Cognac cognoscenti, and was apparently Sir Winston Churchill's favourite (he also liked Armenian brandy). It's also the only cognac to hold a Royal Warrant of Appointment from HM the Queen, which she awarded in 1962. Thomas Hine was originally from Dorset and moved to Cognac, aged just 19, in 1791. He joined a local Cognac business, married the owner's daughter and became a partner in the firm. Hine Rare is a Fine Champagne blend of over 25 cognacs with at least 50 per cent coming from the venerated Grande Champagne area. It's a wonderful digestif and ideal in such cocktails as the Sidecar and French 75. Cheers!
THE JOY OF SPARKLING CORNISH TERROIR
2015 Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut Rosé, Cornwall
(£29.99 to £24.99 From May 16- June 5, Waitrose)
From a pioneering Cornish winery founded in 1989 and appointed a Royal Warrant by HRH Prince Charles in March 2018 (the first English wine producer to receive such an honour), this regal English pink sparkling wine has a wild cherry blossom bouquet and red berry compote, raspberry ripple tones, plus a dry finish. Pour with sushi or cakes and fruit tarts at tea parties. Acidity lengthens and refreshes the generosity of a truly elite native sparkling rosé. Its purity is quite exceptional - no wonder Camel Valley's wines have been served on many royal occasions. Bravo!