Founded by the original Champagne Charlie, Charles Heidsieck has had mixed fortunes through the decades. However, says Christelle Guibert, its fascinating legacy is now matched by the strength of its ambition and the quality of its wines.
Madames, monks, bon viveurs; Champagne has had its share of characters from the start.
But with the greatest respect to Dom Pérignon, Madame Clicquot and others, arguably the most significant character of all in the drink’s rise to fame as the premium sparkling wine of the world, is Charles Camille Heidsieck, the original ‘Champagne Charlie’.
It was thanks to his headline-grabbing exploits in 1852 that Champagne first crossed the Atlantic and lodged itself in the consciousness of the global marketplace, forevermore associated with glamour and high living.
Scroll down for Christelle Guibert’s top 5 Charles Heidsieck Champagnes
This association continued in the 20th century, with Charles Heidsieck Cuvée Royale 1973 served at Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding in 1981.
There was even a 1989 film called Champagne Charlie, starring Hugh Grant (pre-Four Weddings and a Funeral) in the lead role, with a memorably terrible French accent.
See Christelle Guibert’s top 5 Charles Heidsieck Champagnes