Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1921 Dom Perignon

Remember this post I did a while back explaining why it's important to store wine properly?

Well, I was watching Pawn Stars on The History Channel the other night, and saw a real life example of why this is truly so important!

If you're not familiar with Pawn Stars, I recommend you start watching it! It follows a Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, but it's on History Channel, so you know it gets some cool and unique items, such as revolutionary war muskets, Elvis guitars, and pirate treasure chests.

However, in this particular episode, a man brought in a bottle of 1921 Dom Perignon champagne.

Most people have heard of Dom Perignon, as it's mainly associated with the best of the best. We all know it's pretty gosh-darn expensive, and that most people will never have the pleasure of partaking of it. Add the fact that it's from 1921? Gee that's old! Must be worth a ton!

But as the wine expert they bring in reveals, 1921 isn't just any old year... it is the first year. 1921 was the first vintage year of Dom Perignon champagne, and it is widely considered to be the best year. Ever.

The bottle was intact, the label was pristine!

The guy who brought it in was, well, stoked, to say the least.

But then the wine expert broke the news.

Because this bottle had been stored standing up for all those years, instead of lying down keeping the cork moist, and in a climate-controlled environment, the wine was essentially swill. He held up the bottle and you could see the liquid inside was brown, cloudy, and full of sediment floating everywhere.

Had it been stored properly, it would've been good for $8,000-$10,000. Because it had been stored standing up in a liquor cabinet, the only thing it was good for was a novelty bottle/label, and he could maybe get $1000 if he was lucky and found the right collector who would want it just for show.

The man was visibly upset, angry that he had stored it upright with good intentions, assuming that it was the correct way to keep a bottle of wine. But it just goes to show, the more you know, the more valuable you are!


  1. You know, as much as I dislike synthetic corks or--wrose--screw caps, there's something to be said for the storage options of wine sealed by those methods. Not to mention the decrease in ruined wine!

  2. I saw that episode, too! My husband loves Pawn Stars. I keep my wines stored on their sides but sometimes I wonder about the temperature that they are kept in. During the day my thermostat goes up to 80 so that probably isn't the best for them. Not that I ever keep bottles around for long, anyway! ;)

  3. I love that show! LOVE it! I don't know anything about wine. We got a bottle from our house builders when we bought our house : ) I am pretty sure it is not valuable!

  4. Wow, love that show! But missed that episode. Have to feel for him. :)

    Hopped on over from New Friend Friday. I'm the friend below you on the list. :) So glad I stopped by.

    Jeni, of Simply Stated Creative.

  5. Haven't seen the show but it sounds fascinating! Visiting from NNF :)

    Tracey @ Inspire Me Photography