Moonraker and Wine

In Moonraker, James Bond visits Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, drinks Bollinger, and has encounters with the famous Jaws. This movie has been named by many as the worst Bond movie ever! I do have to say there are some stunts in it that are quite memorable.

In my quest to watch every Bond movie, in order, and look at the wines drunk in each, I had to get through Moonraker. We start right away with the Champagne. When Bond is being flown back in the small plane, there's a bottle of Champagne at his side, tho its name is not mentioned. The first classic stunt is James jumping out of the airplane without a parachute, and "finding" one mid-air.

You've got some antiquated James snobbery where he's surprised to find a doctor can be female. Then another classic stunt - the centrifuge scene where he's almost G-ed to death. He heads out to Venice, which in this timeline should be just pre-Carnival but seems to have no sign of revellers. There's a running gag in this sequence of movies with a guy who is surprised by Bond and looks at his wine in surprise - it began in the previous movie (guy on the beach when the Lotus emerges from the water) and continues into the next one (guy at the ski chalet as Bond skiis through it).

We're now halfway through the movie before the first REAL mention of wine occurs. Bond gets into the doctor's room and sees a bottle of Champagne waiting. He says, "Bollinger! If it's '69, you were expecting me." It's interesting that he would say that, when up until now he's been drinking Dom Perignon almost exclusively!

OK, off to Rio where Carnival is in fact in full swing. Manuela, the local contact, is waiting in his room. She's got for him a "vodka martini - shaken, not stirred". There's the final classic fight - up on the roof of the cable car near San Pedro. Then the pair get onto the space shuttle for the final combat in space.

You have a cute scene with Jaws and his Heidi-girl being moon-eyes, and then after the giant battle, the two sit down with a bottle of Bollinger to toast. Bond doesn't even let the two into his shuttle! He does say, "Don't worry they'll make it - it's only 100 miles to earth".

So in the wine world, with only one short mention of Bollinger being their wine discussion, this also ranks as one of the least appealing Bond movies. You do get the fun sequence of Carnival, if you're in a Mardi Gras mood!

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