Cognac: The Basics

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What You Need To Know

Cognac is the world's most famous grape brandy. It is served in virtually every drinking country in the world. The spirit is double distilled and aged in oak casks anywhere from three to fifty (rarely more) years before bottling. Most Cognac is bottled and branded by large national and multi-nation spirit companies. These companies most often do not own vineyards and are not involved in grape growing, wine making, and even distilling.

The Experts Rap

Small estate and Single Vineyard Cognac is becoming more popular both at home and in export markets. It is likely that the mega brands will rule the marketplace for the rest of my life but now we have choices. Single Vineyard Cognac is often big on personality and shy on caramel coloring and added sweetners that are typically found in major commercial brands.

When and How

Cognac is enjoyed year round although it is more widely enjoyed in the cooler months and is an indispensible part of holiday celebrations. In America, Cognac is under appreciated as a cocktail ingredient. Young Cognac (VS or VSOP level) is a terrific aperitif when mixed with club soda or ginger ale. It’s really very refreshing and tasty. Cognac is also a popular ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. Get the full rap on Cognac here.