Dom Perignon: The King of Champagne
Behind every great champagne is a great story, and there are few better than that of Dom Perignon. For this reason and more, it's a Luxist nominee in the best sparkling wine/champagne category.
France's King Louis XIV, called The Sun King because everything revolved around him, had an uncanny connection to the champagne that eventually found its way into his court. Dom Perignon, the monk who developed the regal wine, was born just months before Louis in 1638. The two never met, but both died within two weeks of each other in 1715.
Gallery: Dom Perignon
The monk's goal, stated at the Hautvillers Abbey in 1694, was to create the best wine in the world. Sure enough, Dom Perignon became the most expensive wine sold in France that year. The 1921 vintage became the first prestige cuvée ever, with an initial batch sold in 1936. It has been served at all manner of glamorous occasions, including the Shah of Iran's 1959 wedding, as well as Prince Charles and Princess Diana's nuptials in 1981.
Today, Dom Perignon's legacy is guarded by winemaker Richard Geoffroy, a Champagne-born doctor who left the field of medicine to pursue oenology. Since Dom Perignon is a vintage champagne, it's not made in years considered to be weak, thus ensuring each production run has a chance to fulfill the goals of its new leader – and its monastic founder.
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