Book Review: Drinking Dom Pérignon – Edward Kaukoranta

2nd May 2024

Drinking Dom Perignon Edward Kaukoranta

It was whilst browsing Instagram that I first came past the name Edward Kaukoranta and subsequently, the book entitled ‘Drinking Dom Pérignon 1921 to 2013‘. Boldly announcing himself as Edward of Champagne, was this just another name elbowing their way into the fine wine scene, another ‘expert’ offering an opinion and publishing their own ‘Champagne’ themed book?

After a few conversations back and forth, Edward kindly sent me a copy of his book and from the moment it arrived on my desk, the Dom Pérignon magic ignited the atmosphere. A sizeable parcel contained an oversized 146 page hardback publication dedicated solely to the vintage releases of Dom Pérignon with tasting notes from multiple time periods and key predictions for future performances. Edward’s knowledge of fine wine and previous industry participation with Tasting Book, shows evidently as you flick through the pages. Yes, tasting notes might be personal to each of us and we react quite differently to vintage flavours striking memories, but for me, his notes are clear and easy to understand allowing many to study and confidently predict the likely performance of a Dom Pérignon that they might be lucky enough to have chilling away in their fridge. As you read the notes you are taken on a virtual taste journey with Edward fast conjuring up earnest desires to pop open a bottle to satisfy one’s envy of his amazing experiences shared on each page.

Even though Champagne Dom Pérignon might be a label that causes division amongst wine connoisseurs, dare I say from conversations and tastings I have had, rather a Marmite brand. For me, I have always been a fan and especially when we are talking older vintages from the 1990’s and before. I have been fortunate enough to sit through vertical tastings on many of the big labels of Champagne from Cristal to Veuve Clicquot (Grande Dame) and sat alongside industry greats including Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke and Michael Edwards. It was those private tastings hosted by Dom Pérignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy that hooked me on the special vintage aromas and flavours of this famous brand which Edward Kaukoranta expertly shares his experienced backed opinion on via his latest book.

Taste giving: lemon, coffee, honey, vanilla and brioche, but the delivery is less than perfect. Vintage 1973 excerpt from tasting notes in 2022

The book is as artistic and bold as the character and crisp attire of the author himself. Joining us on earth in 1985, Edward, of Finnish origin, held a fascination for fine bubbles from watching those classic James Bond movies (how so many of us can align with this). His mission in life was soon presented with the brand Dom Pérignon and over the years from tastings and private events / dinners, his collection of tasting notes spanning across the lifetime of Dom Pérignon (1921 – 2013) with a very useful high resolution image of each bottle featured he shares with us.

1996 vintage Dom Pérignon review

1996 vintage Dom Pérignon review


Cuvées featured stretch from the brut and rosé releases and out to the sacred Plénitude releases along with Oenothéque. The tasting journey commences at 1928 and carries through to 2013 with many vintages carrying multiple tasting note time slots. 100 points scoring is used throughout

It is nice to see a very visual, personal and in-depth account of a wide selection of Dom Pérignon labels all in one physical place. A useful reference if like myself, and fellow serious fans of this popular Champagne, haven’t tried even half as many that Edward has experienced.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.