Silver Screen Sparklers
Romance Sparkles With These Champagnes From The Silver Screen
BY KATHY CASTEEL
Champagne and romance take the spotlight in February. Add some glamour to your celebrations this month with legendary sparklers that have graced the silver screen. Here’s an all-star lineup worthy of Oscar’s nod.
James Bond’s taste in Champagne is as exquisite as his taste in leading ladies. Throughout the James Bond film franchise, 007 has divided his loyalties between the prestige cuvées of Dom Pérignon, featured in earlier Bond movies, and Bollinger, Bond’s exclusive go-to bubbly since the late ’80s. In 2012, Bollinger celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Bond films with a special release.
The Champagne flows freely in “Casablanca,” where the proprietor of Rick’s Café Américain plies his nightclub guests with only the best in Nazi-controlled Morocco. While local police captain Louis Renault and his Gestapo pals indulge in Veuve Clicquot, star-crossed lovers Rick and Ilsa seem to prefer Mumm Cordon Rouge, so much so that in their earlier Paris romance they attempted to get through every bottle in the city before the Germans arrived, threatening to water the garden with Champagne rather than let the Nazis have it.
Another Nazi-era thriller, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 classic “Notorious,” features Bouchard Père & Fils Champagne at the start of Devlin and Alicia’s romance. A Champagne-soaked party at the crux of the plot includes cases of iced-down Piper Brut. Wine aficionado Hitchcock is credited with starting Hollywood’s love affair with bubbly — his 1928 silent movie “Champagne” opened and closed with iconic shots through the bottom of a Champagne coupe.
Most recently, the 2013 remake of “The Great Gatsby” showcases Jay Gatsby’s ardent love for Champagne with a bent toward excess — he serves his favorite sparkler Moët & Chandon’s Impérial by the bottle, the magnum and the case, in fountains and pyramids, and even gargantuan oversized bottles. Moët & Chandon was so ubiquitous in scenes, it should have had a co-star credit in this movie’s salute to opulence.
Want to feel like a Hollywood insider? Serve Piper-Heidsieck Champagne at your Oscar watch party on Feb. 22. The Reims Champagne house is a favorite of the American movie industry, first appearing onscreen in the 1934 Laurel and Hardy classic “Sons of the Desert.” A longtime favorite of Hollywood movie stars, Piper-Heidsieck is the celebratory brand of Oscar winners and the official Champagne of the Cannes Film Festival.
Marilyn Monroe started a ’50s trend of dunking potato chips in Champagne, declaring it “real crazy” in “The Seven Year Itch.”