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Dom Pérignon 1961 – The Choice of Charles and Diana

Gilded by the morning sun, the Buckingham Palace balcony awaited its grand moment, empty. The street parties that had gone on through the night in London had quietened down, and the square in front of the balcony began to fill with citizens, press and tourists hungry for romance. As the time neared ten o’clock, the crowds were about to be rewarded for their patience.

            At 10:30 a.m. exactly, royal carriages started out from the Palace, marking the beginning of a precisely orchestrated royal performance. The first carriage bore the groom, HRH Prince Charles, accompanied by his brother, Prince Andrew. Five minutes later, the future Princess of Wales and the heroine of the day, Lady Diana Spencer, stepped into a carriage at the Queen Mother’s house, accompanied by her father. Her face was concealed by a veil and the first glimpse could be caught of the wedding dress designed by Emmanuel, which had until then been a closely guarded secret. The huge sleeves, ruffles and lace of the dress, as well as the long train – whose length had been calculated and tested according to the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral – filled up the carriage, just as they had filled most of the column space in the British media for weeks.

            As the royal carriages travelled towards St. Paul’s they caused a wave of euphoria, a massive sea of sound, whose hundreds of thousands of congratulations and tears still rippled through the streets of London the next day. Tears welled into many eyes outside of London, too, as an estimated 750 million viewers around the world followed the fairy-tale wedding on TV.

Excitement and nerves were palpable during the wedding ceremony. The young bride stumbled over the order of the names of her husband-to-be, but she was not alone: the groom also promised to share with her “thy worldly goods” instead of his own. The ceremony with its three thousand guests was festive and moving.

One of the climaxes of the long day was the opening of the doors to the patiently waiting balcony at Buckingham Palace, at exactly 1:15 p.m. The 20-year-old newly minted Diana, Princess of Wales stepped out with her husband, Prince Charles. Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers surrounding the Palace witnessed their kiss.

            After the famous kiss and the official wedding photography session by Lord Snowdon, the Queen invited friends and family for a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace. The dinner consisted of brill in lobster sauce, supreme de volaille Princesse de Galles (chicken breast stuffed with lamb mousse) and strawberries with cream from Cornwall. All the dishes were served on golden plates and accompanied by the finest of champagnes: Dom Pérignon 1961.

            Ninety-nine magnum bottles of the 1961 vintage of Dom Pérignon, which is considered by many experts to be one of the best champagnes ever produced, were specially brought from the Moët & Chandon champagne cellars for the wedding. A further twelve magnums of the same vintage were ordered, six for Palace staff and six for charity. According to Moët & Chandon, this specific cuvée was never released for public sale.


Tastingbook have tasted the 1961 Dom Pérignon on several occasions, but these specific magnum bottles always carry a special significance. A special label was designed for the wedding magnums to tell the tale of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana on 29 July 1981. These bottles were recorked in 1981, which means that they have more of the autolytic character brought by recorking than other bottles from that year.

by Nuikki

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The Story

 At the end of the 17th Century, Dom Pierre Pérignon stated his ambition to create ‘the best wine in the world’.  On 29 September 1694, Dom Pierre Pérignon wrote that his mission was to create “the best wine in the world.” He dedicated himself to improving viticulture techniques, perfecting the art blending grapes from different crus, and introduced the gentle and fractional pressing to obtain white wine from black grapes.Ever since, the House of Dom Pérignon has perpetuated this visionary approach instilled by its founder, one that remains a hallmark of true luxury: the constant reinvention of the exceptional.

Under the creative leadership of cellar master Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon is reinvented with every vintage. The miraculous concept of assemblage – the delicate balance between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – and the commitment to Vintage are instrumental in the act of creation, revealing the wine's extra soul. Precise and tactile to the point of seamlessness, tense through rhythm and vibrancy, vigorous and fresh yet mature, intense and complex – such is the sensual style of Dom Pérignon: so inviting, yet so mysterious...

The core of the blend are the eight historical Grands Crus, Aÿ, Bouzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Le Mesnil, plus the legendary Hautvillers Premier Cru. Dom Perignon also has the unique privilege of being able to select grapes from all 17 Grands Crus in Champagne. giving birth to Dom Perignon's highly intriguing contrast".


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Wine Information


After an extended winter, the spring of 1962 was hit hard by storms and hail. The early summer was cold, and flowering was late and lingering. Fine weather in September continued well into the harvest, which did not begin until October 4th.

Tasted several times, “dry dry” and “very dry” appear and reappear from 1971. A lovely firm champagne, highly elegant and refined. Then not tasted for ten years, but still clear, with a lovely effervescence. To generalise: characteristic “dryness” of chardonnay on the nose. On the palate, very dry, medium-bodied, elegant, excellent flavour and good length – what the French call persistence.

Michael Broadbent, “Le Livre des Millesimes, Les Grands Vins de France”

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Average Bottle Price

2017 2016 2015 2013 2010 2000
921€ +3.5% 890€ +14.0% 781€ +25.6% 622€ +10.5% 563€ +145.9% 229€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

40 tasting notes

Tasting note


Medium, Gold and Evolved


Long, Lingering and Gentle


Toasty, Mineral, Spice, Vanilla, Bread and Apricot


Intense, Seductive, Refined and Complex




Average in Acidity, Low alcohol content, Medium tannin, Balanced, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Developing, Medium-bodied, Elegant, Vivid, Round, Dry and Silky tannins


Excellent and Outstanding

Written Notes

We began night two with an incredible magnum of 1961 Dom Perignon Wedding Cuvee. This was labeled in celebration of Charles and Diana’s wedding way back when, and the Royal Family couldn’t have picked a better bubbly to celebrate absolutely any occasion, although recent press about Charles might have them reaching for something stiffer. The ‘61 was practically as good as it gets. It was grainy, zippy, strong yet mature with loads of white fruit and sugar flavors. Delicious and balanced, this ’61 was traveling “peak” hours, but it isn’t getting off the train anytime soon (98M).
  • 98p
This vintage of Dom Pérignon has been tasted several times but this particular bottle was something much more than just a regular one. This magnum bottle contained a special label made for the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the 19th of June 1981. These bottles were disgorged late in 1981, carrying more autolysis characters than regular Dom Pérignons of this year. Bright golden yellow colour with energetic fine bubbles. Very rich nose of milk chocolate, roasted coffee beans and bready tones. Dry, crisp acidity with light-bodied style and vibrant rich mousse. Extremely refined, elegant and opulent wine with toastiness, butterscotch and dried fruit, such as date flavours. Mineral lemony bite at the long finish. A very youthful wine still.
  • 99p

Magnum disgorged 1981 for the royal wedding. Pale amber. Amazingly it smells like Dom P?rignon. Notes of putty! Excellent mousse ? hugely lively. You would really think this was decades younger than it is. Extraordinary. Lemony. Dry on the finish, but wonderfully vital, well-balanced fruit and autolysis on the mid palate. Tasted: 20-Oct-2011

  • 100p
Dom Perignon 1961 / Intense golden yellow colour with lazy bubbles. Impressive, voluptuous and creamy nose full of toastiness, roasted coffee, ripe apricots with honeyed overtones and autolyse characters. Crisp, dry and broad palate with lovely texture. Vivid, toasty and citrussy flavours with lingering long finish. Fresh palate and beautifully evolved flavours. 97 points
  • 97p
D - / G 45 min Golden amber colour with no bubbles. Rich toasty and creamy nose with slightly oxidised nutty aromas. Dry and very crisp on palate with moderate mousse, vivid acidity, and plenty of dried fruits. Complex palate with moderately long oxidative finish. Still very balanced wine. In proper condition this wine is extremely rewarding and may be cellared for another 10-12 years.
  • 90p
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Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality


Value For Money

Best buy

Investment potential


Fake factory


Glass time


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Inside Information


In 1936, the prestigious ocean liner Normandie left Le Havre port for New York. In its hold, it carried one hundred cases containing twelve bottles each of the 1921 vintage of Dom Pérignon. These were the first bottles of Dom Pérignon to arrive on American soil - just in time for Christmas and New Year’s Day – they were an immediate success.

In 1951, Marlene Dietrich served Dom Pérignon at an improvised Christmas dinner with two young friends, the writer Francine du Plessis and the poet Jonathan Williams. This dinner, with Dom Pérignon, became an annual affair.

In 1955, Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, had his character, the very distinguished 007 Commander of the Royal Navy and officer in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, order a prized bottle of Dom Pérignon vintage 1946.

In 1957, Christian Dior invited Stanley Karnow, journalist, to his hôtel particulier in upscale Passy, located near the Château de la Muette to conduct an interview for Time.The interview took place over a glass (or two) of Dom Pérignon vintage 1949 in the magenta upholstered armchairs and under a stilted Bernard Buffet portrait of the world’s best known fashion designer….Mr. Dior was also an avid gourmet cook who had his own recipes - Dom Pérignon played a starring role in such dishes as salmon in aspic with Dom Pérignon, partridge with Dom Pérignon, sautéed woodcock with Dom Pérignon, and Chicken Dom Pérignon which called for an entire bottle of the wine.

In 1959, Marilyn Monroe met a young Danish screenwriter, Hans Jørgen Lembourn, in New York. They soon took off on a romantic journey to the mountains with “a small stock of Dom Pérignon” – a stock of joy. “

In 1961, Dom Pérignon Vintage 1949 was served at the dinner given at the U.S. Embassy in Paris for Charles de Gaulle and John F. Kennedy during the American’s president’s official visit.

In 1962, Marlene Dietrich published her ABCs. In the book she says “If you manage to get a perfectly chilled Dom Pérignon in a beautiful glass on the terrace of a Parisian restaurant with a view of trees in mid-autumn sunshine, you’ll feel like the most divine person in the world, even if you are used to drinking Champagne.”

In 1971, at an exclusive dinner for international dignitaries in celebration the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great, Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 1959 was served.

In 1981, magnums of Dom Pérignon Vintage 1961 was chosen for the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles.

In 2004, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony selected Dom Pérignon to serve at their wedding reception.

In 2004, with the sale of the Doris Duke collection at Christie’s in New York. A lot of three bottles of Dom Pérignon 1921 sold for US $24,675.

In 2006, Dom Pérignon was enjoyed at the wedding reception of Mathew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer.

In 2006, bottles of Dom Pérignon were served at the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

In 2008, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon chose Dom Pérignon to toast their wedding in the Bahamas.

In 2008, Dom Pérignon was Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s wine of choice for their wedding celebration.

In 2008, two sales held by Acker Merrall & Condit also left their mark on the history of Dom Pérignon, with three magnums of Dom Pérignon OEnothèque (1966, 1973 and 1976) selling for US $93,260 in Hong Kong, and a lot of two bottles of the legendary Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 1959 selling for US $84,700 in New York.

In 2008, Marc Newsom, the Australian designer changed the very conception of a champagne bucket when he designed for Dom Pérignon a high-tech sculpture that impresses by its size (70 centimeters when closed) in his favorite color, acidic green.

In 2009, Dom Pérignon was served in Versailles at a private dinner held in the hall of mirrors to commemorate the exhibition opening of King Louis IV, the Sun King, and the 300 anniversary of the birth of Luxury. A fitting wine for the recreation of the King’s table, as Père Pérignon’s wines from the Abby of Hautvillers was one of the King’s preferred wines during his life.

In 2010, Dom Pérignon releases Dom Pérignon Wedding.

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 Dom Pérignon 1961  has news

Dom Pérignon 1961 – The Choice of Charles and Diana Gilded by the morning sun, the B more ...

2y 7m ago

 Dom Pérignon 1961  has news

Dom Pérignon 1961 – The Choice of Charles and Diana Gilded by the morning sun, the B more ...

3y 11m ago

 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1961  ( Moët & Chandon )

"DP 69 was amazing. still had great bubbles."

8y 4m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  Dom Pérignon 1961  ( Moët & Chandon )

"Nice tasting Edward, Cheers!"

8y 4m ago

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