A champagne’s vintage means the year that its grapes were harvested; the oldest bottle of Dom Perignon would therefore be the first vintage that the brand released. The first bottle of Dom Perignon was crafted in 1921 (though it wasn’t available for sale until 1936); these sought-after, century-old bottles can still be found at sophisticated auction houses and in private collections, though you’d likely need several thousand dollars to purchase one. The 1921 Dom Perignon is a legendary year, and champagne experts consider the vintage one of the tastiest and most unique in the brand’s history.
Dom Perignon is special because it’s synonymous with quality champagne; this brand refuses to cut corners and prioritizes its product's luxury. Dom Perignon does not make non-vintage wine. Hence, every bottle contains only grapes harvested from the same crop — consistent ingredients lead to a consistent product. Each vintage has its own special characteristics based on the climate and crop of that year’s harvest. Besides the product itself, American culture has helped raise the brand’s reputation; in 1936, 100 cases arrived in New York City for the post-prohibition elite to enjoy, and Dom Perignon remains a staple of America's upper crust.
Most champagne experts agree that an unopened bottle of Dom Perignon can last up to ten years when stored properly; that being said, certain vintages are still collectible even if the champagne’s optimal quality may have suffered. To store an unopened bottle of champagne, make sure the temperature stays consistently between 45 - 65°F; lay the bottle on its side, keep it away from light sources, and avoid agitating it as much as possible. Rotate the bottles every so often to keep the cork from drying out. Of course, not everyone has access to a wine cellar, so it’s often best to just pop the cork and enjoy the champagne while it’s fresh.
If you can afford it — absolutely. Even the most affordable bottle of Dom Perignon tops $100, and many cost significantly more depending on the vintage and exclusivity. However, for major celebratory moments such as weddings or milestone birthdays, it’s a very appropriate present (especially to commemorate the celebration year with the matching vintage on the bottle). As a general rule, you really can’t go wrong with gifting a bottle of champagne. Dom Perignon is one of the highest quality choices on the market.