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
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.
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.
Medusa Lumiere Brandy Glass
Brandy glass made of crystal. Approx. 9"T. Holds 23 ounces.
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
Villeroy & Boch Entree Brandy
Set includes: four brandy glasses. A simple and unpretentious silhouette
makes these glasses an ideal choice for everyday enjoyment. Lead-free crystal.
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
Schott Zwiesel Tritan Pure Cognac Glass
Lead-free crystal. Dishwasher safe
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
eau de vie: spirits,
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
Baccarat Degustation Brandy Glass, Set of 2
Lalique 100 Points Cognac Glass and Stemware Collection
|Set includes: two brandy
glasses. Characterized by a short stem and a wide balloon-like
bowl. The bowl's large surface area enables scents and notes to
be released, thus maximizing the flavor of the cognac. France
||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.
Waterford Elegance Brandy Glass, Set of 2
|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.
||Meticulously hand crafted
with crisp rims, striking angles and clear, delicate bowls, Waterford's
Elegance collection makes a refined, modern statement in sparkling
to your favorites