Dom Pérignon is some of the most appreciated champagne in the wine world, but does it need to be refrigerated?
While Dom Pérignon doesn’t need to be refrigerated, experts have determined that it – and all other champagnes – are at their best when served chilled. Traditionally, Dom Pérignon will be aged in cellars which, while they aren’t refrigerated, are naturally quite cool.
Read on to learn more about Dom Pérignon, how it’s stored, and how it’s traditionally served.
The method behind brewing alcoholic beverages hasn’t really changed much in the last few millennia. We can trace back the creation and consumption of fermented drinks thousands of years, through China, Greece, Italy, the Middle East, and France.
It’s an art that has taken centuries upon centuries to perfect, and it’s always been a massively popular one. As time has gone on, alcohol has only increased in standing, with thousands of different beverages being available to consume today.
There’s a drink for every occasion, it seems – whether that’s in front of the television watching sports, or attending a luxurious gala. The latter is likely where our interests rest at the moment, as we discuss champagne, the finest of beverages.
It’s thought that champagne – at least in some form – was invented hundreds of years ago, in the late 17th century. The story is often misconstrued, however, and the majority of people are left believing that a particular monk invented champagne in France, in 1697.
The exact information is somewhat unclear, as countless vintners and breweries were working with wine at the time. For most, it’s Dom Pierre Perignon, Benedictine monk, who is credited with the creation of sparkling wine, also known as champagne.
Admittedly, the story fits – he did dedicated decades of his life to perfecting his wine crafting skills. Also, he was working out of an abbey in Hautvillers, in the heart of the Champagne region of France.
Keep Your Cool
Coincidentally, that’s the de facto standard today – for champagne to be called champagne, it must hail from… Well, Champagne. There are many ‘champagne houses’ that exist across the region, all boasting expert vintners and champagne cellars that run underground for miles, stacked high with bottles.
These cellars are where the champagne ‘vintages’ are aged, bottled, and left to gather dust for several years. The aging process is of extreme importance, as it refines the flavor and consistency of the champagne.
While these gargantuan cellars aren’t refrigerated, they are cool by nature – and they always have been. It’s why the original craftsmen opted to use them, to keep their wine as fresh as possible.
Today, it’s a general rule that champagne must be served chilled, as per the advice of experts. It’s reported that champagne must be served at temperatures between 47-50°F, any colder and it will ‘numb the taste buds’.
Now, one of the finest champagnes on the planet is Dom Pérignon, so named for the man who many think created champagne, as we’ve said above. This champagne is extremely exclusive, expensive, and masterfully created, but it follows the same rules.
It must be aged in cellars, kept cool, and can be refrigerated, but must be served chilled. As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that champagne should never be kept in a freezer, as this can ‘kill the fizz’ that champagne is so famous for.
Dom Pérignon, Through The Ages
The first Dom Pérignon vintage was released to the public way back in 1936, after having been aging in the cellars for fifteen years. It’s created by legendary French champagne house Moet et Chandon, and it’s considered to be exquisite.
According to expert vintners, the best vintage of Dom Pérignon occurred in 2002, followed by 2008. There have been dozens of ‘vintages’ of Dom Pérignon released over the years, with the recipe or vintners changing for each one.
This is where the big differences occur in the production of the champagne. The vintages are often crafted many years apart from one another, and everything from the person in charge, to the quality of the grapes, can have a huge impact.
These days, a fine bottle of Dom Pérignon can cost anywhere from around two-hundred dollars, to four-hundred dollars. There are rare and sought-after vintages but as a general rule of thumb, that’s the price point you’re looking at.
However, it’s almost four hundred years in the making, so be sure to enjoy it.