As humans, we are known to do many things, particularly taking celebrations very seriously. We could be planning towards another celebration while observing one, which is how serious it could be.
Frankly, not everyone celebrates the known holidays, but some life and personal achievements are worth celebrating. Or sometimes, you might want to grab a couple of drinks with your friends and spend quality time with them. Whatever the reason is, there is always that part of us that wants to do extra – something different from the old, usual, boring stuff.
In the spirit of celebration, we tend to do different things – it could be throwing a big party with friends and family, spending some time out, going on a friendship vacation, or doing something fun. However, a bottle of good drinks seems to be present in all of these events. There is a different feeling of happiness that these drinks bring, especially if it is champagne.
Ideally, champagnes are the drink of celebrations, and it takes very special events actually to want to open one. There are several bottles of champagne in the world, all from different brands; however, the Dom Pérignon is one we’d like to take an interest in. It is one of the favorite champagnes in the world, and this article will discuss its history, why it is prestigious, and any other thing there is to know.
What is Dom Pérignon, and Why is it so Prestigious?
Dom Pérignon is a brand of vintage champagne with a unique and refreshing taste. It is the world’s most prestigious champagne, and it is sometimes called “DP.” This champagne is the wine of events, and sometimes, it is traded even at wine auctions.
While there is so much talk of how fantastic the Dom Pérignon champagne is, there are a couple of reasons why it is one of the world’s recognized champagnes. They include:
- Dom Pérignon regards itself as a prestige cuvée (or sometimes, tete de cuvée). The meaning of this term is that it is the best champagne producer – nothing less in quality. If you were ever to choose a champagne drink, Dom Pérignon would always be a top choice on recommendations.
- Dom Pérignon is an expensive, vintage wine. You may not find this wine in some years because the production process is intensive. Besides, the materials needed for making the wine are dependent on the growing conditions. As a matter of fact, the brand only releases each of its vintages thrice. Hence, the brand is committed to fine quality production over quantity.
- Dom Pérignon is a classic choice among royalties and celebrities. Over the years, people like Drake, 50 Cent, Notorious B.I.G. have shown their interest in the wine by singing about it in their tracks. Likewise, Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding was graced by 99 bottles of this wine. James Bond movies also had Dom Pérignon make its appearance. Indeed, it is a drink of legends and pop stars.
- The wine has one of the longest aging periods. With vintages known to be produced three times, the aging times vary from one another, with the shortest being 9 years. The first release ages 9 years, while the second and third age 18 and 25 years, respectively. On average, about 4.5 million bottles are produced every year to meet constant demand across different world countries.
- The shocking truth about Dom Pérignon champagne is that the creation process is a myth. Generally, it is considered a Premier Cru Champagne, not a Grand Cru Champagne, because the production process involves using a blend of grapes from Grand Cru vineyards and Abbey of Hautvillers. These are grapes from a single year – mostly red and blending grapes, i.e., the blend of pinot noir and chardonnay. They are used to develop white wine after going through fermentation periods.
- The champagne comes in different vintages – each distinguished by production time and taste. However, the most expensive version ever created by the brand is Dom Pérignon Rosé. It isn’t like the regular bottles. It was first produced in 1959, and it contained a combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
- Lastly, Dom Pérignon is made by the best champagne house in the world, Moet & Chandon. The company started production way back in the early 1940s.
With all of these facts clearly listed, you can see why a bottle of prestige champagne is frequently used to grace different occasions or events.
Additionally, other things that make this wine special are its traditional, antique-style label, vintage bottle design, and cork structure. Indeed, it is a symbol of luxury.
How and When was Dom Pérignon Invented?
The history of Dom Pérignon wine goes as far back as the 17th to 18th centuries. The inventor of Dom Pérignon was a Benedictine monk who went by the same name. Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638 – 1715) wasn’t only a monk at the time, but he was also a cellar master in Abbey Hautvillers. Pérignon was born in the Champagne region of France and served as the cellar master of Abbey until his death.
Dom Pérignon was a man who believed monks getting their hands into something would bring them closer to God. So, he took an interest in winemaking. He was known to pioneer different wine techniques, as he was the first person to blend grapes and improve wine quality extensively.
Pierre Pérignon perfected his art of making wines, especially white ones, even from using black grapes. He also took his time with fermentation and bottling, which was one of the reasons why his champagnes were so good. In his lifetime, he was known to produce other items that would improve the quality of wine, such as glass (thicker ones) and corks.
According to Canon Godinot, who established a set of rules for Dom Pérignon winemaking, he said the monk never used white grapes but instead used Pinot Noir, which was the contributing factor to taste. He also said that the French, Benedictine monk was fond of using natural substances during production to retain the unique taste.
After his death, other winemakers took on his legacy and started making sparkling Dom Pérignon champagne using his production style. However, in 1921, the first vintage Dom Pérignon wine was produced, and in 1936, it was released to be sold. This wine gained massive recognition among different people and even sailed to New York that same year.
The brand ownership of Dom Pérignon champagne changed from Champagne Mercier to Simon Bros & co., a company known to import Moet in the United Kingdom at the time. This company fostered the production and marketing of wine to different parts of the world. Today, Moet & Chandon is recognized as the official producer of vintage Dom Pérignon.
In 1935, 300 bottles of vintage Dom Pérignon were imported into the United Kingdom. Two bottles were given to the company, i.e., Simon Bros & Co.’s best 150 customers as they celebrated their 100 years of winemaking.
During the early stages of production, the name “Dom Pérignon” wasn’t displayed on the bottle; instead, it was in the Moet & Chandon champagne bottle. However, in 1947, the brand started making separate bottles for Dom Pérignon champagne, and it has remained that way until date – although with improvements.
Some of the notable things about the wine over the years are:
- the first vintage and expensive type of Dom Pérignon champagne, The Rosé, was ordered in 1971 by the Shah of Iran.
- on July 29th, the Dom Pérignon Vintage 1961 had a custom-made design, an emblem solely for a magnum ceremony.
In the invention books, Dom Pérignon champagne was reported to have been produced in 43 vintages (between 1921 to 2009).
How did Dom Pérignon Get its Name?
The name of Dom Pérignon wine was coined after the inventor, Dom Preire Pérignon, a Benedictine monk and winemaker. On how to pronounce Dom Pérignon, it is called (/dɒmpɛrɪnˈjɒn/).
Why are Some Bottles of Champagne More Expensive?
If you tell someone you are having a bottle of champagne, such a person immediately assumes you are living in wealth and luxury. However, the truth is that there are different types of champagne, and they all come in a range of prices. So, while there are expensive champagnes, there are also cheap ones.
The champagne price comparison is based on the following factors:
First, the sole reason you find some champagnes more expensive than others is the brand manufacturing them. There is always marketability in name, which often influences prices of goods or products – in this case, wines. Not many people would buy wine from a brand that they are unfamiliar with – they must be able to attest to the quality of that brand before going for it.
That being said, the most expensive bottles of champagne are manufactured from some of the prestigious champagne houses in France. The country is the top exporter of some of the best wines globally, and it is only expected that there is huge competition amongst different manufacturers. You would find some of these brands keep their ingredients a secret because it is the selling factor used on consumers.
Besides, some people belong to the school of thought that the expensive the wine, the better the quality.
Another factor that largely contributes to the high price of champagne wines is the climate condition of the production area. Winemaking is beyond mixing a couple of things; it takes understanding your environment too. The best champagnes are made in Northern France.
Champagne takes a harsh climate condition making the entire process very difficult and time-consuming. If there were fluctuations in climatic conditions, it could affect the winemaking process, and the taste wouldn’t come out exactly as intended. Oceanic and continental influences also need to be controlled to inhibit fluctuations that may adversely affect wine quality.
The range of temperatures for winemaking is usually between 30 to 50 degrees. Anything above or below these temperatures puts the grapes at a higher risk.
With this intensive factor of climate in consideration, one would only expect that the champagne cost more than regular wines at the end of production.
Lastly, Production is another reason for the high price of champagnes. Generally, people use the term “sparkling wine” for champagne – it isn’t wrong, nor is it entirely true. Champagnes are sparkling wines, but other sparkling wines take a different production process.
Champagnes are produced following a process called méthode champenoise. The winemaking process takes a lot of time and energy – from getting the right fruits, i.e., grapes, to fermentation (primary and secondary). Other processes include the mixing stage, post-secondary fermentation, cooling, disgorgement, dosage, and eventually bottling. Some of these processes take months or years to complete – aging time for regular champagnes is no less than a year, while vintage champagnes take more than three years.
Considering all these processes involved in producing a good bottle of champagne, you would only expect the price to go high up. The more intensive the production process, the expensive the champagne is.
Judging from these factors, that means Dom Pérignon prices vary based on the vintage periods or versions. See below for a list of some Dom Pérignon vintages and their prices.
Dom Pérignon Rose 2006 – $380
Dom Pérignon Vintage 1995 – $540
Dom Pérignon Cuvée Champagne 2003 – $820
Dom Pérignon Rose Gold Methuselah – $49,000
Dom Pérignon Rose 1959 – $84,700
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Drink a Bottle of Champagne?
There isn’t really any harm in popping a bottle of champagne and having it all by yourself or with friends and family. It is the best drink to grace important occasions – semiformal or casual. Raising a glass of this world’s best drink shouldn’t make you feel guilty; instead, you should consider yourself being in a happy place.
As a matter of fact, drinking a bottle of champagne does have its advantages – of course, to the body. Below is a list of things it would do to the body.
- A bottle of champagne improves your health. Ideally, the wine contains grapes – particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, i.e., Red and White Grapes that are beneficial to the body when ingested. These grapes contain antioxidants that improve the heart by protecting blood vessels and reducing bad cholesterol. You are likely not to run the risk of heart diseases or illnesses with a considerable amount of champagne.
- The wine keeps you mentally alert and elevates your spirit. The mystery behind champagne is that it makes you happy, even when you don’t want to. It contains magnesium, zinc, and potassium, which are key elements of mood boosters. They are also anti-depressants and are capable of improving your memory.
- Contrary to popular opinion of drinks causing diabetes, sparkling wines and champagnes do not cause them. They are healthy drinks when consumed moderately. Champagne wines are also known to contain few calories because of the ingredients used in the production process; thus, they are better than most red and white wines.
With all these known advantages, there isn’t a reason you should shy away from taking a bottle of champagne when the need arises.
When Do You Need a Dom Pérignon Champagne?
It is often said that special events call for special wines. If you have something important to celebrate – like a lifetime achievement, a wedding, a christening, or anything else, a Dom Pérignon champagne is a great wine to serve. This special wine is best served at 10.
This exposé on Dom Pérignon is important because sometimes, people need to learn about the history of some of their favorite drinks, champagne, to appreciate it. From here onward, if you have something important to celebrate, you shouldn’t hesitate to go for this wine and share it with your guests.