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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The skinny on Dom Pérignon

Dom Pérignon or as the hommies like to call him "Dom P", was a Benedictine monk who, in 1668, was appointed treasurer at the Abbey of Hautvillers near the town of Epernay Champagne. Among Dom Pérignon's various duties was to oversee the running of the cellars and the winemaking, which in this time was considered to be of substantial importance.

Although his contributions to the wine industry are debated at times, what we do know is that among his formidable achievements was the perfecting of the technique of making a still white wine entirely from red grapes. He also was influential in the refinement of the art of blending wines from different vineyards and advances in clarification treatments to ensure a brighter wine than what was the murky norm at that time.

Many believe Dom Pérignon invented sparkling wine, but he actually devoted much of his time researching ways to avoid the dreaded re-fermentation that resulted in so many tempestuous wines.

Although his contributions to the history of wine are unquestionably warranted, Dom Pérignon did not invent Champagne.

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