There are those who could not be less interested in the comings and goings of the Queen of England and her large and not infrequently scandal-adjacent family; this article is not for them. And then there are those who were riveted this morning as the 2022 Trooping the Colour military parade kicked off the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II, a four-day celebration of the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, now 96 and the first monarch in history to enjoy seven decades in power.
Elizabethmania has swept not just the Commonwealth but the world this week, with anglophiles everywhere obsessing over everything Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Even her old nemeses the Sex Pistols have returned to play their part, releasing a new “God Save the Queen” video. And Wine Spectator Royal Watch is chuffed to report that there’s a cracking line of both official and unofficial Jubilee bevvies with which to celebrate. (Fair warning: The website for the Royal Collection Trust, the exclusive seller of official Jubilee merchandise, suspended orders due to “unprecedented demand” earlier this week; they’re currently warning that orders may take at least four weeks to fulfill.)
For starters, there’s Her Majesty the Queen’s official Platinum Jubilee Special Edition English Sparkling Wine ($49). Made by Gusbourne winery, it's a Champagne-style blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grown in Kent and West Sussex. According to the wine’s distributor, Royal Collection Trust, the label features a crowned EIIR cypher, golden olive leaves and ears of wheat in a design inspired by the gold embroidery on Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate, worn on her Coronation Day, June 2, 1953. There’s also a pair of official Jubilee crystal flutes, engraved with an emblem depicting the national flowers of the United Kingdom (about $150 for the satin-lined box set).
Of course, the Queen has her own British fizz label, made from grapes grown in Windsor Great Park. Unfortunately, production was too small to meet the demand for official Jubilee sparkling wine.
Demand for Queen Elizabeth’s wines is so high, in fact, that in 2020, thieves pilfered several cases of Alsatian bottles earmarked for Buckingham Palace; thankfully they were serendipitously recovered during a drug raid. (Riesling is rumored to be one of Her Majesty’s favorite tipples, along with sparkling wine, of course.)
If, like most of the Commonwealth’s loyal subjects, you’re too late to snag any of the official Jubilee wine, there are plenty of other appropriate ways to celebrate this weekend, starting with the Royal Collection Trust’s lineup of wines bearing the official Buckingham Palace seal. There’s a Pauillac ($50) and a white Bordeaux ($25) made from young vines at châteaus Lafite Rothschild and Duhart-Milon Rothschild; a vintage Champagne ($56) made by Baron-Fuenté; a Port ($37) and a Tokaji Aszu Six Puttonyos ($75).
Taylor’s Port has released a Jubilee edition Very Very Old Tawny. “To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, Taylor’s Port, a Royal Warrant Holder to HM The Queen, decided to bottle a Very Very Old Tawny Port,” said managing director Adrian Bridge in a statement. “This exceptional Port is drawn from our extensive reserves of the finest wood-aged wines, which have been maturing in seasoned oak casks since the Queen succeeded to the throne, silently attesting to Her Majesty’s extraordinary reign as the longest serving monarch in British history.”
There’s also an American contingent at the Platinum Jubilee: Napa’s Bouchaine Vineyards reports that the estate’s wines will be poured at a private Jubilee celebration hosted by the official royal publisher, St. James House. “Our motto at Bouchaine is ‘wine makes you happy,’ and we can’t imagine a more joyful celebration than that of the Queen’s Jubilee,” said Bouchaine co-owner Tatiana Copeland in a press release. Copeland says she developed a friendship with Queen Elizabeth II’s sister, Princess Margaret, over several years in the 1980s whilst they were both vacationing on the private Caribbean island of Mustique.
Other producers getting in on the act include English sparkling wine house Nyetimber, with its Jubilee Classic Cuvée ($47), and Richard Branson’s Virgin Wines is offering a commemorative Platinum Jubilee English sparkling wine from East Sussex priced at $50.
There’s also an environmental component to the Platinum Jubilee with the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, which encourages people across the world to plant trees in honor of the celebration. Heeding the call is James Bond’s go-to bubbly, Champagne Bollinger, which will help transform a green space in Scotland, the ancestral home of its founder, Madame Lily Bollinger.
The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II will conclude June 5, when communities are encouraged to celebrate with a “Big Jubilee Lunch” (a 1,600-foot-long picnic table will be set up in Windsor), while Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, will lunch at the Oval cricket ground with a nearly 40-foot-tall cake. There will be a Platinum Jubilee Corgi Derby featuring many of the Queen’s favorite dogs at Musselburgh Racecourse in Scotland, and a 5,000-person pageant will take place in front of Buckingham Palace.
But if all this adoration of Her Majesty is making you feel like a bit of an outsider, take a cue from the stars of Megxit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan, who no longer “work” for the royal family but still showed up for the party, are rumored to favor Burgundy’s Olivier Leflaive, California’s Flowers and Domaine Eden and super Tuscan Tignanello.
Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.