Did you know that the favourite champagne of Sir Winston Churchill was Pol-Roger? If not, here is a little of the story of Sir Winston and the House of Pol-Roger Champagne.
Sir Winston was well known for his love of champagne a love which the London socialite Lady Astor disapproved. It is said that at one gathering she said to him, “If you were my husband I would poison your coffee!” Sir Winston immediately responded with, “If you were my wife I would drink it!”
Anyway I digress. Odette Pol-Roger was a member of the Belle Époque society of Paris and also a courier for the French Resistance. She was totally charmed by Sir Winston and of course taken with his preference for her family’s prestigious champagne, which he regarded as the very best, especially the 1928, which was highly favoured during the war years. Odette sent him a case every year as a birthday present and in 1952, in recognition, Sir Winston named his racehorse Pol-Roger, inviting Odette to England to watch the filly race.
The 1928 vintage ran out but Odette continued to send the annual birthday present case – the 1934, followed by the 1937, 1945 and finally the 1947, right up to Sir Winston’s death in 1965.
On his death, Odette ordered all the Pol-Roger shipped to England to labels boarded in black, however in 1990 this was changed to dark blue to honour Churchill’s services to the British Admiralty.
Churchill never visited the Pol-Roger Champagne house, something he regretted. Pol-Roger commemorated Sir Winston by naming its first Grande Marque Champagne, Cuvee Winston Churchill – Vintage 1975, which was released at Sir Winston’s place of birth, Blenheim Caste.