Bollinger and Taittinger spark up old Bond rivalry

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  • Friday 25 April 2008

Champagne Bollinger has been shaken – but not stirred – by the rekindling of an old rivalry with Champagne Taittinger

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, each Champagne house has sponsored an event in London.

And this revisits old battles, as Taittinger was the favourite of Bond in the books, but Bollinger has long been the screen spy’s tipple.

Bollinger was poured at the opening of “For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond” – an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

Days later, Taittinger flowed at “Bond Bound: Ian Fleming & the Art of Cover Design” at the Fleming collection.

‘Taittinger was actually Ian Fleming’s favourite Champagne,’ said Justin Llewellyn, brand ambassador for Taittinger and the son of Desmond Llewellyn, who played gadget guy Q in many of the Bond films.

’We have a letter from Fleming thanking M. Taittinger for a dozen bottles, and Taittinger was mentioned in Casino Royale, Moonraker, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Goldfinger.’

Taittinger’s screen career ended after Tatiana Romanova’s glass in From Russia with Love was spiked with poison.

‘They approached Claude Taittinger for the next film, but he didn’t want to be involved, and we never have been since,’ said Llewellyn.

Elizabeth Ferguson, PR manager for Mentzendorff, Bollinger’s UK importer, confirmed Bollinger has been James Bond's Champagne since 1979. ‘The earlier Bond books do indeed feature Taittinger as well as other Champagne brands before he became a faithful Bollinger drinker,’ she said .

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