The Champagne of Dom Pérignon


We thought we were very fortunate to have Richard Geoffroy, the Chef de Cave of Dom Pérignon, in our studio. But, we were doubly fortunate to have him bring along the current vintage releases of both the 1999 Cuvée and 1996 Rosé for us to enjoy while we talked about Dom and the Champagne region.

Dom Pérignon is no doubt one of the most recognizable names in the world. Made by Moët et Chandon since the late 1920s, this prestige cuvée was named for Pierre Pérignon, a Benedictine monk, who legend has it, came out of the cellar one day yelling to his Benedictine brothers “I am drinking stars!” Many myths abound about Dom Pérignon, such as he was blind (he was not – he merely blind-tasted the wines), and that he introduced blending to Champagne wines (he actually innovated the blending of grapes prior to sending them to press).

Richard Geoffroy has been the cellar master for Dom Pérignon for over a decade. He has a medical degree from the University of Reims, but never entered private practice, preferring instead to get an additional degree in enology and return to the roots of his family – winemaking. Join us as Richard gives us a little history lesson of the region, as well as a prognosis of its future. And of course, our visit wouldn’t be complete without giving us a tip or two about drinking Champagne, as well as his own philosophy about terroir, winegrowing, and Champagne-making in this wonderful region.

For more information on Dom Pérignon:

For more information on Moët Hennessy:


Click Below to Play the Show:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Show #170
(1:11:15 min 50 MB)

If you enjoyed this episode check out these other related shows:

Audio #13: Let’s Celebrate Champagne
Audio #45: The Business of Champagne
Audio #175: Champagne with Veuve Clicquot
Video #31: Champagne Taittinger: A Walk Through the Cellars
Video #32: The Champage of Philipponnat
Audio #200: The Champagne of Krug

10 Responses to “The Champagne of Dom Pérignon”

  1. 1 R.W. Oct 1st, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Great show as usual, but one word of advice.

    Jay usually asks a lot of the questions I would so I enjoy hearing what he has to say. At the end when he asked about the release statistics and Richard did not want to divuldge those, Jay… you sounded (pardon the pun) so WINEY on that. You guys are a class act, don’t press a guest if they don’t want to answer a certain question…

    Keep up your qualitative interviews and your guests should all want to be back again.

  2. 2 Gary Oct 1st, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    I really enjoyed this show. It made me nostalgic. In 1988 a girlfriend drug me to my first wine tasting and I had my one and only glass of Dom Perignon. I remember very little about the tasting except the host made a BIG deal about Dom Perignon being offered that evening and asked that we patronize the store that provided it. To me Dom Perignon was synonymous with expensive wine and James Bond. Thanks to your show I’m ready to pay for a bottle.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. 3 GrapeRadio Bunch Oct 7th, 2007 at 4:40 am

    R.W. your post made me LOL. I kid you not, the biggest complaint I get is not asking harder questions…. that I am too soft on the guests.

    Mind you, I did not have that in mind when I asked the question, it just the way I reacted. I know for a fact that I can get winey, so I would say I agree with your point. BTW, Richard met with us again while we were in Champagne, we have some video of that talk also.

    What did you mean by you wanted to hear what I had to say?

    Gary, Dom Perignon is synonymous with Champagne. As you know, they are not the most expensive Champagne being sold today.

    Find a friend that has some DP, or maybe split a bottle with a few fellow wine geeks before you buy. I would like to hear your impressions after you try it again.

    What happened to the girlfriend? She sounds like a keeper.

  4. 4 Tim Meranda Oct 14th, 2007 at 11:45 am

    The sponsor of this show, Millesima, has a very interesting website with some very good short seminars. Almost Wine Geek 101.

  5. 5 R.W. Oct 22nd, 2007 at 8:01 am

    Well I guess Jay you can’t please everybody.

    Again, you all ask very good questions, questions I love hearing the answers to.

    This one instance your guest felt uncomfortable, or at least he sounded like it.

    Tough questions are good, but every journalist has to know how far to take them. It isn’t easy for sure.

    I love your shows and am totally jealous of all the great wine you guys drink and all the cool guests you get to meet.

    Keep having fun…


  6. 6 David Oct 23rd, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    I was not surprised that he did not answer that question. I have heard for many years that they never reveal the number of bottles in production because it is so embarrassingly huge. I do know that the DP rose is relatively rare and have since bought 2 of the 1996 and am every excited to try. I have heard it kicks butt over the 96 Cristal Rose.

    Thanks for another great show.

  7. 7 Greg Oct 23rd, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    So, what do they do with all that declassified juice if they don’t declare a vintage?

  8. 8 GrapeRadio Bunch Oct 24th, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Given the amount of NV Champagne produced, I’m sure we can assume it finds a suitable home.


  9. 9 Tony Oct 27th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Hey guys,

    Random question, actually need some advice, on a grocery store wine. This is isn’t your typical grocery store wine, it’s a ’96 Dom Perignon. My wife and I recently found two bottles of 96 Dom in the local grocery store for what I thought was a modest $188 considering. Both bottles have been sitting upright in a locked case, not temp controlled, for what I would guess about 3-4 years under the typical grocery store lighting.

    Do you think this would be a recipe for disaster and waste of money or do you think that it would be a great pickup? I’m very tentative to buy them because of their storage.

    Thanks for your advice,

  10. 10 GrapeRadio Bunch Oct 27th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    That is a very good price. I know about the cases you are talking about. The wine is probably OK, but I would not buy it. As you know wine should have a cool dark place. Your wine has not been under the conditions.

    The only reason you would but it is to save about $50. You may save the money, but the wine will ALWAYS be a ? in your mind.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Monthly Archives



GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.