I love pulling into garage sales whenever I'm traveling because you never know what you're going to find. Recently, traveling along Route 20 in Central New York, my wife and I came upon an empty vintage 2012 Dom Pérignon Champagne bottle that looked really different.

A normal bottle of "Dom" - as the silver spooners refer to it - is a greenish yellow bottle with a gold label. This one was clearly different than the original.

Vintage 1995 bottle of Dom Perignon. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM.
Original bottle of Dom Perignon champagne. Vintage 1995 bottle. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM.

We spoke with the homeowner who said she didn't know why it was green, but her and her husband purchased it at a liquor store in New York City for their 50th wedding anniversary. She said it was time to let it go, so she marked the price at $1. I figured, at the very least, it would look cool on a shelf as a unique release from the legendary champagne maker from France.

Following the purchase, I noticed something different on the bottom of the bottle. There was a button that when pushed, lit up the label. The only person more surprised than me was the woman who just sold it to me. She had no idea it illuminated.

Illuminated bottle of 2012 Dom Perignon. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM.
Illuminated bottle of 2012 Dom Perignon. Photo by Bill Keeler / TSM.

Sure enough, the bottle was a special edition called Dom Pérignon Luminous - Vintage 2012 champagne. It's estimated that the empty bottle is worth about $100, although there are some shady deals on eBay for less. The battery that lights up the label lasts continuously for about 8 - 10 hours, but it seems like you can change out the battery once it dies.

The Luminous bottles of Dom started being produced in 2000, and the current version is vintage 2012 and sells for between $300 and $500, except in restaurants where the price can be even higher. By the way, I gave the woman the chance to keep the bottle once she saw it light up, and she told me the sale was final. Not a bad find for just a dollar.

Facts On Dom Pérignon and Where to Find it Locally

-Champagne is wine, but of the sparking variety. All champagnes are sparkling wines, but not all sparkling wines are champagnes. A sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne region of France, just outside Paris.

-Dom Pérignon (1638-1715) was a Benedictine monk who was a cellar master and pioneered several winemaking techniques in the mid to late 1600s. Despite incorrect folklore, he did not create sparkling wine. The development of sparkling wines wasn't developed until the 19th century, nearly 100 years after Dom Pérignon's death.

-The Champagne called Dom Pérignon was first available in 1936. It's created by Moët & Chandon. Its origins can be traced back to the Abbey of Saint Pierre d'Hautvillers in northern France – the so-called birthplace of champagne. This particular high-end champagne is said to be special, and is named after Dom Pérignon.

-Dom Pérignon champagne is vintage only. Meaning when the most perfect year for the grapes to be harvested is selected, that becomes the vintage. For instance, the first bottle of Dom Pérignon was vintage 1921, but wasn't sold until 1936. The current available bottle of Dom Pérignon is vintage 2012. The experts at Luxury for Men describe it this way: The 2012 vintage is a perfect mix of the finest Chardonnay (47%) and Pinot Gris (53%) grapes. It’s loaded with stylish aromas of citrus, artisanal bread, green apple, mineral and pear, this is quite dry and vibrantly refreshing on the palate. Dom Pérignon is made from only the best grapes and is declared only in the most exceptional years.

- Dom Pérignon Rosé was first made in 1959. A Lady Gaga special edition Luminous bottle lights up pink, and usually sells for more than $500.

A simple search of area liquor stores has Dom Pérignon selling at $239 and up. The Dom Pérignon Rosé doesn't seem to be available and nor does the Lady Gaga special edition, which when in-stock, sells for $399 and up. There are no Luminous bottles of Dom listed for sale on any of the local websites. However, one liquor store does have the Plénitude 2 version of Dom Pérignon, which is "the second life of the champagne" or described this way by the company: patiently brought to a new elevation and set on a path to eternity. After close to 15 years of slow transformation in the cellars, Dom Pйrignon expands its energy and rises to an apex of essential, radiant vitality, in its state of Plйnitude. Elevated to new heights, it unfurls across every dimensions – wider, deeper, longer, more intense – and gifted further with an extended longevity. One local liquor store sells that more mature version of Don for $439.

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