It has been announced that war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s cherished imperial pint-sized champagne bottles could be reintroduced following the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). EU regulation outlawed the imperial pint of champagne, voguish in the early decades of the twentieth century, in 1973.
Churchill reportedly consumed in the region of 42,000 bottles of Pol Roger champagne between 1908 and 1965. Churchill was also a fan of the Magnum (two bottles) — about which, he is said to have once remarked: “It was the perfect size for two gentlemen... when one of them was not drinking.”
Pol Roger Champagne’s Hubert de Billy, whose ancestors knew the former Prime Minister, told the BBC that Churchill loved pints because he was often drinking the wine with his wife, Clementine. De Billy said, “when he was drinking a [whole] bottle, she was not happy; when he was drinking a half bottle, he was not happy.” He added that the popularity of the format decreased following the Second World War when a market for by-the-glass serves emerged. The 56.8 cl imperial pint-sized bottles contained approximately four glasses.
De Billy added that champagne houses were less fans of the format than the likes of Churchill, as they preferred to count in units of bottles. The imperial pint was “as a strange size,” he said.
It remains entirely unclear whether or not this is a cause for celebration, with or without champagne — in pint format, or otherwise.