How have drinking tastes changed since previous Coronations?
The day of King Charles III’s Coronation is almost upon us, but how have tastes and drinks trends changed since the crowning of previous Monarchs?
Saturday 6 May is set to be a right royal knees up, as Charles is formally crowned King.
Record numbers of bottles of English fizz are expected to fly off the shelves in the UK as partygoers look to pop their cork on home-grown sparklers. And to celebrate the big day, a number of English wineries have released special edition wines.
But what were the tastes of 1953, and how do they differ from that of today?
A pamphlet found in the Waitrose archive and published in The Telegraph reveals the supermarket’s list of wines to celebrate the Coronation 70 years ago. Familiar Champagne brands feature on the list, as well as an array of ‘Empire Wines’ from Australia and South Africa.
‘Some inexpensive sherry & table wines’ are also included, featuring a Hungarian white, Spanish ‘Sauternes’, red Tuscan wine and a six-shilling St-Emilion, plus a sparkling wine from Luxembourg.
Berry Bros. & Rudd, the UK’s oldest fine wine and spirits merchant, has also launched a limited-edition case of wines to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.
The selection — which includes a Riesling, two Bordeaux offerings and Pol Roger Champagne — is intended to be “stylistically aligned with those that featured on the original 1953 menu from the Queen’s Coronation”, the fine wine merchant has said.
Sherry and Vintage Port are also included in the list, curated by Barbara Drew MW, one of the three Masters of Wine at Berry Bros. & Rudd, “in line with the historic 1953 menu”, Drew said.
In actual fact, this list from Berry Bros. & Rudd suggests that tastes have remained somewhat consistent since the crowning of the last Monarch. In November 2022, Charles held his first State Banquet as King, and while English Sparkling was centre stage in place of Champagne, the wine list also featured a 2007 Sauternes and a Vintage Port, harking back to the days of Queen Elizabeth II.
We don’t know exactly which wines will be served on Saturday 6 May to mark the occasion, but they are sure to differ from those offered at Waitrose during the Coronation of King George VI in May 1937.
A second pamphlet unearthed from the Waitrose archives, and published for the first time in The Telegraph, offers clarets, including a third-growth Margaux 1923 Château d’Issan; German wines; a glorious assortment of sherries; and Champagne brands from Bollinger, Veuve Clicquot and Mumm.
With much to celebrate in the world of English wines, it seems that royal tastes are moving closer to home, with British fizz a favourite for this year’s festivities.