The Crown: A Royal Drinking Guide

‘Tis the season for Netflix, cozy blankets, and a glass of wine! Our current Netflix fave is The Crown – a healthy dose of royal splendour, intrigue, and drama, what’s not to love? We’ve prepared this royal-themed drinking guide of wines to pair with the new season of The Crown. Most of these picks are international, but don’t worry – we made sure Ontario is well represented;).

Tignanello: This famous Italian wine is a favourite of the UK’s newest royal, who now goes by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Her former lifestyle blog, The Tig, was named after Tignanello, and she’s spoken publicly about her love for big, bold red wines. Personally, we love Italian wines for winter because the bold, robust flavour profiles pair well with hearty winter meals.

Tignanello is produced by the ancient house of Antinori, one of the biggest producers in Italy that can trace its history back, impressively, to 1385. It’s a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc and is known as one of the first “Super Tuscan” wines. The “Super Tuscans” are rebels of Italian wine – for years, regulations in the Chianti region were very restrictive and any wines that deviated from prescribed standards (say, by adding grapes that are non-indigenous to Italy) couldn’t carry the name “Chianti” on the label. The wild success of Super Tuscan wines on the commercial market eventually led to updated regulations. From LCBO you can try:

  • Marchese Antinori Tenuta Tignanello Riserva Chianti Classico 2015, $49.95
  • Tignanello 2016, $77.00

Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, Prince Edward County: The County, as it’s known, is becoming a powerhouse producer of quality Pinot and Chardonnay. In 2017, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, stopped in the County on a royal visit and sampled wines from Norman Hardie, Rosehall Run, and others. Here are some you can try now from the LCBO:

  • Norman Hardie Unfiltered Chardonnay, 2016, $39.20
  • Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir, $19.95
Norman Hardie showing off his vines to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2017

Traminac: This is the Croatian name for Gewurtztraminer, grown in the Ilok region in eastern Croatia. But why is a Croatian wine on this list? Traminac produced by Ilok Cellars was served at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 (and the vintage that was served – 1947 – was from the year of her marriage to Prince Philip)! Ilok Cellars Traminac was also served at both recent royal weddings – an icewine for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, and a late harvest berry wine for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s. Although it’s not Traminac, the LCBO does have one Ilok Cellars wine on offer right now, and it’s a traditional Croatian grape variety (Grasevina):

  • Ilok Cellars Classic Grasevina 2017, $14.95

Champagne: Champagne is never a bad idea! A number of champagne houses hold Royal Warrants, meaning they are trusted suppliers to the royal family. These include Bollinger, Veuve Cliquot (a favourite of the Queen Mother), and Louis Roederer, but our pick is Pol Roger. This champagne house dates to 1849 and is frequently served at royal functions, including the receptions following both Prince William’s and Prince Harry’s weddings. Also of note, Pol Roger’s prestige label is named Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, after one of its most famous adherents (whose relationship with a young Queen Elizabeth II is shown throughout the show). Right now, you can snap up these bottles at the LCBO:

  • Veuve Cliquot Brut Champagne, $74.25
  • Pol Roger Brut Champagne, $69.25
  • Pol Roger Vintage Brut Champagne 2008, $96.95

Happy hibernating!

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