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Champagne Dom Perignon Vintage 1999

Exploring the 7 Sensualities

The flavors of the Dom Pérignon 1999 Vintage are very complex

Which came first? — and we’re not talking chicken and egg. In food and wine pairing exercises, it’s always a good question. Are we going to figure out what to pair with that 1961 Mouton that we just bought, or are we going to match one of our cheap bottles with the organic products that we proudly purchased at out local Farmers Market?

In a recent case, the  Vintage 1999 Dom Pérignon crafted by Richard Geoffroy was the starting point. He was lucky to have staff chef Pascal Tingaud to collaborate with him on creating the perfect matches to challenge the versatility of the beverage.

In Richard’s words: “How can it be so complex, so subtle, yet mature? That’s the wonderful paradox of Dom Pérignon Vintage 1999.” We found the wine to be extremely approachable and round. Young, certainly, but with an ability to age, an extreme versatility with food and good from the get-go. It has also mastered the primary task of what defines a prestige cuvee Champagne: complexity. It has a huge propensity for ageing to boot.
Throughout the over three-hour voyage, perched in the first class penthouse lounge of the legendary Sunset Tower Hotel (where John Wayne kept a pet cow on the patio) we started sipping the luxurious beverage and were treated with a sensory experience, jet-setting through continents in search of noble ingredients: French caviar from Aquitaine, Mexican black mole from Oaxaca and flavorful items along the lines of kafir lime leaves and yuzu. Everything worked for the well-rehearsed performance, with the Culatello ham ageing the Champagne and giving it a territory character.

Oh — we almost forgot to mention the caviar à la royale to be practiced with a cherished one, either at the beginning of the meal or perhaps later on… Can it possibly get better than that?

The 7 Sensualities


Prunier Saint James caviar, a superior, mature caviar from the Aquitaine region, is eaten from the small indentation made between the thumb and index fingers when a fist is formed, bringing out the freshness and spice of the Champagne. This visceral first taste is followed by a more subtle combination of caviar and avocado cream.

Prunier Saint James caviar and avocado cream bring out the freshness of the Champagne

Three Marine Metamorphoses pair well with the wine

Three Marine Metamorphoses

Dashi broth, a clear kelp base for many Japanese dishes, is combined with clams that bring out the minerality of the Vintage 1999. Fresh Irish oysters with a hint of ginger follow, ending with squid-ink risotto. The peppery flavor of the black rice brings out the freshness of the wine.

Thai Langoustine Soup with Lime Leaves and Coconut

Coconut cream and fragrant lime combine with langoustine meat in this palate-cleansing soup. The Champagne’s fruity notes shine through when combined with the pearlescent soup.

Thai Langoustine Soup brings out the Champagne's fruity notes

Granadilla is a fruit from Latin America


A tangy, oval fruit from Latin America, the Granadilla gets heat from a hint of Espelette pepper. The simple fruit brings out the dry, brilliant flavors of the wine.


Culatello is an Italian ham made from the upper leg of an adult pig.  The dry meat melts in your mouth, a texture that comes from a long period of aging.  The Dom Pérignon Vintage 1999 responds with aromas of almond and plum, exhibiting its fruity, floral character.

Culatello is an Italian ham

The spicy flavors of squab in black mole pair well with the intense flavors of the Dom Pérignon 1999 Vintage

Black Mole

The spicy, warm flavors of the traditional Mexican dish combine effortlessly with the intense, mature flavors of the Dom Pérignon Vintage 1999. The pairing begins with a gingery mole and langoustine, which the wine enhances by bringing out the chili peppers and cocoa. Next is squab, smothered in the thick mole sauce, which is complemented by the wine’s fruity freshness.


The mole flavor lingers on the palate thanks to Davidoff’s Special “R”, which emphasizes the complexity of the Champagne. Floral spices and fruit flavors combine in the last step of the 7 Sensualities experience.  

Cigars, like Dom Pérignon Vintage Champagne, have a complex flavor

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(Updated: 09/07/12 DL)

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