Cognac and Armagnac
France is the largest wine producing nation
in the world, but it is the quality which makes her reputation. Similarly, France
exports only the finest spirits. Cognac and then Armagnac are at the
top of the list. The combination of the soil, climate and distilling and aging
process are unequaled anywhere else. If you've ever been to Cognac, you have experienced
the delight of smelling Cognac the moment you step into town. This is called the
"angels portion," the evaporation of nearly 1% per year as the brandy ages
in the cask. Distillation of this spirit began in the 17th century and soon
attracted a following in England, Holland and Scandinavia. In 1887 Cognac was divided
into regions: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons
Bois and Bois Ordinaires based on decreasing proportions of chalk in the soil which:
Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires
based on decreasing proportions of chalk in the soil which increases the earthiness
of the taste. Nine litres of wine are made into one litre of brandy through a two-stage
distillation process. The brandy is then aged in oak barrels from Limoges
for 5 to 100 years which gives it its distinctive taste from the tannin and resins
from the wood, the oxygen from the air and the rich amber color. Plan a picnic on
the banks of the Charente and then tour the distilleries and taste this rare brandy:
Hennessy, Martell, Rémy-Martin, Otard.
Orrefors Intermezzo Snifter
Designed by Erika Lagerbielke in 1985, the Intermezzo Snifter from Orrefors
is highlighted by a distinctive drop seemingly suspended in the base. 6"H
x 3"D. 8.6" oz.
Villeroy & Boch Purismo Brandy Glass, Set of 4
Crystal. Dishwasher safe
Villeroy & Boch Metro Chic Brandy Glasses, Set of 2
Sophisticated stemware features thin walls, elongated silhouettes, fuller
bowls and understated tapered designs for the perfect drinking experience
Lustre Brandy Goblet
Mouth-blown, opalescent, and engraved brandy glass. 5"Dia. x 6"T.
Waterford Connoisseur Aras Cognac Glass, Set of 2
Set includes two cognac glasses. This Aras Cognac glass has been designed
to pair perfectly with the flavors and aromas of Cognac. The long stem keeps
the heat of your hands away from the bowl of the glass, allowing the spirit
s aroma to develop at its own pace, before being concentrated by the tapered
shape and narrow mouth
Red Drop Snifter Glass
Mouth-blown snifter glass. Capacity, 12 oz. Approx. 5.3" T. Dishwasher
and microwave safe. Made in Italy
Here are just a few reference
terms as you select French brandy:
Acquit Régional Jaune
d'Or: certificate which guarantees that the brandy comes from Cognac.
age: Brandy improves in wood
for about 50 years. The cost and loss through evaporation are large
which is reflected in the price. Once in the bottle, brandy doesn't
Armagnac: brandy produced
in the Department of Gers and aged in casks of Gascony black oak.
brandies: distilled wine
usually aged in wood. Laws fix the geographic limits of the areas which
may produce under the Cognac or Armagnac labels.
Cognac: brandy distilled
from wines made from grapes of the Charente and Charente Inferieure
Departments. Generally recognized as superior to all other brandies.
of brandies for uniformity over time
fine: ordinary brandy
Fine Champagne Cognac: from
the Champagne area which should be the best.
Fine de la Maison:
a restaurant's house brandy--usually not Cognac!
Grand Champagne: the small
district where Cognac is located and which produces the best quality
label abbreviations: E=Especial,
F=Fine, V=Very, O=Old, S=Superior, P=Pale, X=Extra, C=Cognac
limousin oak: from the Limoges
area, used to make Cognac casks.
quality of Cognac: the Cognac
area has 7 subdivisions which in the order of quality are: Grande Champagne,
Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois, Bois Ordinaires,
Bois communs dits à Terroir
spirits: distilled liquors
stars: more stars indicate
better quality. Determined by the producer so this will vary from one
brand to another.
vintage: dated bottle, entirely
from one harvest only in the best years
Cognac. The rest of your life
Lalique 100 Points Cognac Glass and Stemware Collection
Elegance Brandy Glasses, Set of 2
|Lalique's renowned 100 Points
collection has expanded from a single universal tasting glass to
an entire assortment perfect for a wide variety of beverages and
occasions. Designed in collaboration with international wine critic
James Suckling, each glass in the collection is carefully finished,
sanded and polished for incredible clarity and beauty.
||Handcrafted brandy glasses.
Crystal. Hand wash. Set of two; each measures approximately 4.5"Dia.
x 6"T and holds 28.7 ounces.
Vetro 24K Gold Brandy Glass
|Brandy glass with 24-karat
gold details. Made of glass. Holds 12 ounces. Approx. 3"Dia. x 5.5"T.
||Our Brandy Snifter is made from Italian crystal and features a gold stem,
making it perfect for entertaining. Approx. 4.25"Dia. x 7.25"T.
Waterford Connoisseur Lismore Brandy Balloon, Set of 2
Olympia Brandy Glass
|Set includes two brandy balloon
glasses. The Lismore Brandy Balloon is the most classic of spirits
glass shapes, designed to amplify the delicate flavors of the finest
spirits. The thick crystal stops the spirit from being warmed by
the hand, allowing aromas to build slowly in the bowl, ready to
be nosed without overpowering the senses
||Handcrafted brandy glass. 7'T; holds 30 ounces. Handmade glass.
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