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March 14, 2024
5 Best Wines for the Aristocracy in the Past

Throughout history, wines such as Champagne, Bordeaux, Sauternes, Burgundy, Port, and Sherry have held esteemed positions in the courts of aristocracy, with each boasting unique tales of origin and prominence. Popular for their luxury, elegance, complexity, and richness these beverages have left an indelible mark on the annals of time.

What wines did the aristocracy drink in the past?

In eras gone by, wine has always been the drink of choice for the refined and the elite. Delving into history, we find fascinating tales of how aristocrats have indulged in these fine beverages, shaping the wine industry and leaving behind intriguing stories and legends.

1. Champagne:

Champagne holds a position of unparalleled prestige in the realm of beverages. Synonymous with luxury and exclusivity, its journey began during the epoch between the 16th and 19th centuries, led by pioneers like Pierre Pérignon. Its alluring effervescence soon captivated aristocrats, creating an unmistakable identity for Champagne as the drink of the elite. By the 18th century, this sparkling treasure was the toast of aristocratic circles not just in France, but across Europe.

Fun Fact: Legend whispers that the iconic Champagne coupe was designed after the bosom of Marie-Antoinette, the illustrious French Queen. It's told that her courtiers raised toasts in these glasses in her honor.

2. Bordeaux (Red):

The wines from Bordeaux have always held a coveted place in aristocratic cellars. Particularly during the Age of Enlightenment, a surge of interest in wine-making techniques and studies marked Bordeaux's prominence. Its 14th-century trade with England was particularly thriving until the Hundred Years' War concluded. After the English retreat, the Dutch played a significant role in its trade.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Pope Clement V, originally from Bordeaux, possessed the vineyard estate known today as Château Pape Clément?

3. Sauternes:

This luscious, sweet wine from Bordeaux is renowned for its intricate flavor profile, opulence, and longevity. The courts and aristocracies of Poland and Rome favored Sauternes, particularly for desserts, owing to its sugary character.

Fun Fact: In a testament to its allure, the Grand Duke Constantine paid a staggering 20,000 francs for a 900-litre tun of the 1847 Yquem in 1859.

4. Burgundy:

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the wines from Burgundy were celebrated across varied spheres. The Sun King, Louis XIV's era, saw these wines lauded for their health benefits. Their acclaim only grew during the Age of Enlightenment, finding mention in literary treasures. However, the French Revolution brought significant changes, leading to the dissolution of massive estates and reshaping Bourgogne's viticultural map.

Fun Fact: The Romanée vineyard, purchased by the Prince of Conti in the 1700s, holds the unique distinction of remaining intact even post-1789, avoiding fragmentation during the revolutionary period.

5. Port & Sherry:

  • Port: Originating in Portugal, this sweet fortified wine was held in high regard among the blue bloods of Europe. [Please provide the name of the most famous port winery for insertion here.]
  • Sherry: Hailing from Spain, Sherry, like its counterpart Port, enjoyed immense popularity within the courts and grand halls of aristocrats.

Fun Fact: An interesting tale surrounds Port wine. It's said its creation was serendipitous. In the mid-1600s, to safeguard the wine from deteriorating during lengthy voyages, English merchants introduced 'aguardente' (a variety of brandy). This addition, while preserving the wine, also enhanced its taste, leading to the birth of what we now know as Port.

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