How Angelus became James Bond’s choice

In a memorable scene in Casino Royale, James Bond sipped Chateau Angelus on a train while meeting Vesper Lynd. The St Emilion maker of bold blend of merlot and cabernet franc paid for the placement in cash and wine.

Jean-Bernard Grenié told me today that the laws prohibiting advertising wine in France made the producer pursue a strategy of product placement in movies. Their agent in Paris had a connection to the Broccoli family, producers of the Bond film, and sent them a case. Grenié said that they “loved” the wines. Angelus paid “some cash and some wine” for the placement. Grenié did not specify the amount of either. Co-owner Hubert de Bouard had previously told that the impact on sales was “unbelievable.”

Will it be James Bond’s wine of choice in future movies? “Yes,” Grenié replied, adding “as long as somebody doesn’t pay more than we did.”

16 Responses to “How Angelus became James Bond’s choice”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wine Lover +, Dr Vino and Wine Lover, WineBlogFeed. WineBlogFeed said: How Angelus became James Bond’s choice #wine […]

  2. So much for, “Shaken. Not stirred.”

  3. Awesome, love it. Have heard a lot about product placement from my friends in that business. What a great placement idea. Omegas and Angelus.

  4. […] wonder why James Bond was sipping Chateau Angelus in Casino Royale? Product placement. As Dr. Vino discovered,  the placement was paid for “in cash and […]

  5. Although his most frequently requested drink is a Vodka Martini – shaken, not stirred – Ian Fleming’s fictional hero James Bond also has a taste for fine wines.

    The original novel of Casino Royale (1953) has a scene in which Bond attempts to dazzle a female companion with his knowledge of Champagne: “With his finger on the page, Bond turned to the sommelier: ‘The Taittinger ’45?’A fine wine Monsieur’, said the sommelier. ‘But if Monsieur will permit’, he pointed with his pencil, ‘the Blanc de Blanc Brut 1943 of the same marque is without equal’. Bond smiled. ‘So be it’, he said. ‘That is not a well–known brand’, Bond explained to his companion, ‘but it is probably the finest Champagne in the world.’ He grinned suddenly at the touch of pretension in his remark.”

    In the film version of Dr No (1962), Dom Pérignon is offered to Bond: “That’s a Dom Pérignon ‘55 – it would be a pity to break it,” says Dr. No when Bond gets agitated. “I prefer the ‘53 myself”, responds 007.

    Dom Pérignon 1953 is something of a mythical wine, enjoyed not only by James Bond (it is referred to in Goldfinger) but also apparently the favorite wine of Marilyn Monroe. However, it was never made. 1957 is another “phantom vintage” that is ordered by Bond at a casino in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

    Visiting Japan during You Only Live Twice (1967), Bond is offered Dom Pérignon ’59 by a cooing secretary. This DP is notorious for bottle variation caused by defective bottles with warped necks and so prices vary tremendously.

    Wine is only mentioned once in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977): “Maybe I misjudged Stromberg”, says Bond; “Any man who drinks Dom Pérignon ’52 can’t be all bad…”

    When Bond lands on Scaramanga’s island in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), he is offered Dom Pérignon 1964, which is a great vintage. Bond quips, “I prefer the ‘62 myself. Still, beats a bag of peanuts.” Quite right, too, as 1962 is also a very good year, though – as with the 1959 – prices can vary tremendously.

    Diamonds Are Forever (1971) has perhaps the best of all Bond wine scenes, when Bond and yet another ladyfriend are on a cruise ship. At dinner, Bond is offered Mouton–Rothschild 1955 by the steward, who gives himself away as a villain by not knowing that the wine is claret. The 1955 is a very good Mouton that tends to get forgotten about in a world obsessed by the ’59 and ’61, and it has a rather nice label by Georges Braque, to boot.

    Mouton also makes an appearance at Bond’s dinner with Scaramanga. Bond remarks on the wine, which is served blind: “Excellent – slightly reminiscent of a ‘34 Mouton”. This vintage – the best Bordeaux year of the 1930s – marked the start of Mouton listing its volume of production on its labels.

    Nearly 25 years on from its release, The Living Daylights (1987) now seems prophetic when a Russian general remarks, “Bollinger RD – the best!” And staying at a Hong Kong hotel in Die Another Day (2002), Bond requests “If there’s any left, the ’61 Bollinger”.

    Bond’s knowledge of wine might help him get the girl, but it doesn’t impress everybody. In From Russia With Love (1963), 007 is being held captive by Grant (played by Robert Shaw): “Red wine with fish. Well, that should have told me something”, quips Bond, after seeing Grant order Chianti with grilled sole. Grant replies, “You may know the right wines, but you’re the one on your knees”.

  6. Epic comment, Stuart–many thanks!

  7. Is that uncommon? I remember seeing lots of bottles of Ravenswood being drunk by the characters on “Six Feet Under” and just assumed that it was product placement.

  8. […] Tweet (Times Live) Naples Winter Wine Festival auction, An elite class studies wine (News Press) How Angelus became James Bond’s choice (Dr Vino) Heitz Cellar's, Stag's Leap, Joseph Phelps…10 Napa Valley Greats You Can Take to the […]

  9. Ah, the brave new world of wine. Lord help us.

  10. There you go! you should send them a ‘case’ of your website for the next movie.

  11. In the world of product placements, consider Wall Street 2, which benefited “enormously” from various supporters (including a hedge fund).

  12. […] million). But the most important question: will James Bond’s budget also be slashed from Angelus? […]

  13. […] as a thanks for allowing the wine to participate in the movie. Some dineros as well. Check out Dr Vino if subject interests you. Tweet   If you enjoyed this article, please consider […]

  14. […] “How Angelus became James Bond’s choice” Premiers Grands Crus Classés: Château Angélus (A) Château Ausone (A) Château Cheval […]

  15. Well, wonderful wine if you don´t have any problem with those “leather” notes which, I know, can feel nice but sometimes they are telling more about the wrong yeast living inside the winery than the original character coming from Merlot or Cabernet Franc or even the soil. What a pity.

  16. […] Since it was BYOB night, we brought our own bottles instead, nice Rioja and Bordeaux courtesy of Gretchen, and a Pomerol I picked up from Wine Story, which is interestingly by the same owner of Chateau Angelus, made famous by the James Bond movie “Casino Royale” 😉 […]


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