Hip Happity birthday Ma’am! Yes, we’re celebrating the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. But we all know it’s not really her birthday of course. April 21st was her 87th and isn’t she still looking smashing? Regardless, today we’re raising a toast to Liz – and a Monday off work.
But what kind of toast to raise? I mean, what WOULD Liz drink?
Lacking any reasonable knowledge of the answer, or even where to source it from, we’ve instead had some fun postulating and pontificating on this most regal of etiquette conundrums. Serving the Queen the wrong wine on her birthday c’est traveste!
So come celebrate with us as we make a suggestion or two on what she might like. Tipples that are fit for a Queen.
The French Stuff
Considering the French & English have been at war on and off for centuries, Her Majesty is quite happy to throw Royal Warrants at Champagne houses like confetti.
Veuve Clicquot, Pol Roger, Louis Roederer are all on the palace-preferred list. . . But let’s face it: Bolly screams Britain, and we think that’s got to be the Queen’s celebration bubbles of choice.
I mean, would Patsy drink it? Would your mum get silly on half a glass (mine would)? So crack a bottle and toast ‘Joyeux Anniversaire Votre Majeste’. (The Queen speaks fluent French. We merely drink fluent French.)
Bollinger Special Cuvée is one of the finest NV champers out there. Meticulously made and weighty with Pinot Noir and French Oak, it is a perennial birthday favourite for good reason. Be queen for a day and serve with a piece of cake and a candle, just because you can.
Fancy something a little edgier, which will keep the malaria at bay too?
Dust off the Dubonnet darlings! It’s back in vogue. A spiced fortified wine with honey & citrus peel notes, The Queen Mother liked it with gin. For lunch.
However, as we’re all leading regally busy lives and don’t really want to be nodding off before noon, we suggest serving it with ginger ale and a burnt orange twist. Cheers!
Those Quirky Colonials
It’s only fitting that the Queen would celebrate her birthday with a glass or two of something from the colonies. And she does have a mighty soft spot for those Kiwis. They don’t cause her too much trouble. They have the manners to NEVER show up the English at cricket. And they make Pinot Noir ready to stand proud against the best of Burgundy.
Wild Rock ‘Cupids Arrow’ Pinot Noir 2012 from the Central Otago region is a regally smooth crystal goblet of raspberries and red cherries, and is purse-pleasing enough to leave the budget open to the purchase of large diamonds or small nations.
Old Blighty Herself
The English? Making wine? Yup. And not just any wine. The south of England is fast getting a reputation for producing stellar sparkling wine!
Sounds bizarre, but the White Cliffs of Dover are made of the same limestone seam that gives that stiff upper lipped minerality to Champagne. Add a splash of global warming and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Samantha Linter and her all-female winemaking team at Bolney Estate, in West Sussex, recently won a Gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition for their 2007 Brut Blanc de Blancs. We haven’t yet been fortunate enough to taste, or even spot, any Brit bubbles all the way Down Under, so give us a shout if you have!