“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” –Dom Pérignon, monk and cellar master attributed to the discovery of champagne, upon first tasting it.
Champagne. It’s the standard bearer for celebratory drinks. Just got married? Toast with Champagne. Close a huge business deal? Pop a bottle of the bubbly! Just win the World Series? Shake those bottles up and spray it all over everything! I think you get the point. It’s a drink that requires no reason to bust out, but if you do? Well, it will cost you a pretty penny if you want the best. The best, in this case, is undoubtedly Dom Pérignon. Oh, and so we’re all on the same page, it’s pronounced Dom Peh-ree-nyon.
A History Of Dom Pérignon
Champagne is named so because of the region it was first made in. The Champagne region in France was first introduced to vineyards by the Romans. As time went on France continued to cultivate these vineyards. The Champagne region made a pale, pinkish version that was derived from the Pinot Noir variety of grapes. The wines were lighter bodied and thinner and would often have higher levels of acidity and low sugar levels.
The cold winter months in the region would halt the fermentation process. The wine would then continue fermenting in the spring. This led to the belief that the carbon dioxide levels were higher, which would often cause the weak French glass bottles to explode. If the bottle survived it was found to have bubbles. It was considered a fault at first but the British were growing fond of the unique bubbly wine. The sparkling Champagne continued to grow in popularity, especially among the wealthy and royal.
During this time there was a monk that went by the name of Dom Pérignon. He cellar master at the Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers. He was so good at his job that he found a way to blend the grapes in a way that vastly improved quality. He helped to correct imperfections by doing so. He also used thicker glass so the concoction was less likely to explode. Another first that Dom introduced was the cork. He would place it in the bottle and then use hemp string that was soaked in oil to keep the wine fresh and sparkling. He was a true innovator for his time.
Dom Pérignon is a vintage Champagne produced by the Champagne house Moët & Chandon. The first vintage of Dom Pérignon was made and bottled in 1921, and was only released for sale in 1936. The wine was an immediate hit and the rich and famous bought it up quickly. F. Scott Fitzgerald and the billionaire James Buchanan Duke, were huge fans of champagne. If you want to learn more about Dom then you can find out more with this book from Amazon.
The Price Of Luxurious Drinking
Dom Perignon is a symbol of luxury and excess with the price points starting at $150.00. Aging impacts price when it comes to any wine or spirit. Dom Perignon vintages, by rule, are aged for a minimum of seven years before release into the market. There are some that are aged for longer that range upwards of $400.00 per bottle. Rare and vintage bottles could go for a huge amount depending on the age. Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam was sold at an auction for an extraordinary amount of $40,000 dollars, making it one of the most expensive champagnes in the world.
They also have a special bottling that runs a little bit higher than the previous bottle that sold for $40,000. It has a bit of an advantage though as it is not in a normal bottle. It comes in a 6 litre bottle which has a metal casing dipped in rose gold. That part alone is worth $30,000. So while this technically is the most expensive, it has a few cheats when it goes head to head with the rare Jeroboam.
Style And Flavors Of Dom Pérignon
As successful as Dom Pérignon has been they certainly wouldn’t limit their market by having just one variety of champagne. They actually off several different flavor profiles and differently aged bottles. Here are the most popular according to wine.com.
2005 Champagne Moët & Chandon – Dom Pérignon Rosé
Bright salmon with cherry copper tints, energy and vitality. Initially discreet on the nose despite its breadth and underlying richness, with delicate strawberry fruit and touches of minerality. More spicy complexity as it opens, with real depth and power. In the mouth, fine mousse on the attack with precise mineral notes wrapped in velour, fleshy and mouth-filling but effortlessly balanced by freshness.
2000 Champagne Moët & Chandon – Dom Pérignon Brut
A rich, powerful and decadently hedonistic wine with soft aromas of cream, brioche and oak. All components herald a glorious palate and a lovely explosion of ripe peaches. This wine has a real weight and a wonderful roundness that shouts about this ripe vintage, and a sensationally long finish with real oomph that seduces and excites. Great now but will keep well until 2019.
1996 Champagne Moët & Chandon – Dom Pérignon
This is one of the most impressive Dom Pérignons ever produced, with many wine critics claiming it is even richer than the awesome 1990. This delicious Champagne will age for decades to come, but why deny yourself the sumptuous, yeasty fruit and vanilla pod aromas now. Drink now – 2020.
(2005 International Wine Challenge Silver Medal Winner)
Want to try one of these champagnes? Why not try it in these super expensive pure crystal champagne flutes available on Amazon. IF you’re not in the higher tax bracket you can use these flutes as well.
Recipes For Champagne, Expensive Or Cheap
If you’re like most people, a bottle of Dom Pérignon is just not in the budget, so here are some recipes to use for almost any budget. Enjoy!
- Place a sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute.
- Lash it with 2 or 3 dashes of bitters.
- Fill the glass with brut champagne.
- Squeeze a lemon twist on top.
If you ever get a chance to enjoy a glass or bottle of Dom Perignon, savor it. It’s something that won’t come along every day, unless of course you’re rich, then I guess it could. Regardless, it should still be celebrated for the fantastic and carefully crafted drink that it is. As they used to say on Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams”. Cheers!