‘I drink it when I am happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I am alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I am thirsty.’ ~ Lily Bollinger, manager of Bollinger Champagne house from 1941 to 1971
About 4 years ago, my friend Marije and I took a week-long road trip through the French country-side. Starting from the Netherlands, we drove to Beaujolais, then worked our way through Burgundy, Chablis and Champagne before ending up in Paris. Was it ‘coincidental’ that each of there regions were known for their excellent wine and cheese? Of course not!
The climax of our trip was in Ay, where a friend of Marije's was able to arrange for us a private tour of the Bollinger Champagne house, one the oldest champagne producers in the world. From the Vielle Vignes (old vines), to the underground cellars, to the tasting room, we spent hours learning all about the production (and taste!) of Bollinger.
... As for the James Bond reference? Bollinger Champagne has been featured as James Bond's Champagne of choice in Ian Fleming's novels, as well as the 007 movies.