Cognac is a delicious alcoholic beverage produced in the Charente department of France, close to Bordeaux on the West Coast. It is named after the town of “Cognac” in the center of Charente. Cognac is produced by distilling wine, twice actually. So Cognac is brandy – but not every brandy is a Cognac.
Here are 6 interesting facts, as reported on Forbes, that you probably didn’t know about Cognac:
1. It’s most often on allocation, mostly because of China
If 11% of China drank one bottle of Cognac per year the entire Cognac region couldn’t produce the liquid to meet the demand, according to a Hennessey spokesperson.
2. This is Paradis
Most Cognac houses have a special cellar where they keep their oldest and best vintages. The name of this exclusive storehouse: Paradis.
3. The French don’t particularly like it.
About only 3% of Cognac is consumed in France. The rest is exported. Scotch is actually much more popular in France.
4. It’s basically Brandy
The main difference between Cognac and Brandy? Like Tequila, Bourbon and Champagne the Cognac label can only be applied to a bottle if it was produced in a specific geographic region – the fittingly titled Cognac region of Western France. If you want to change things up, try a brandy from South Africa and taste the difference.
5. How to read a Cognac label
Here are the 4 most common categories, ranked by age, expense and quality: VS, VSOP, XO and Extra. With VS nobody would blink if you ask to mesh it with a mixer of water. But by the time you get to XO and Extra and their hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars-per-bottle-price-tags…drinking it any other way than needed will be viewed as a tragedy.