The Ultimate Guide to Cognac: History, Types, and Top Brands - Liquor Wine Cave

The Ultimate Guide to Cognac: History, Types, and Top Brands

Cognac is a world-renowned brandy that has been enjoyed for centuries. With its rich history, unique flavour profiles, and wide range of brands, Cognac is a staple of the spirits world. In this article, we'll explore the history of Cognac, the different types available, and how to drink it. We'll also compare Cognac to Armagnac and showcase some of the top brands available on Liquor Wine Cave, Australia's best place to buy Cognac.

What is Cognac?

Produced in the Cognac region, Cognac is a type of brandy. It is made by distilling wine and then aging it in oak barrels. The area is known for its chalky soil and maritime climate, which creates ideal conditions for growing the grapes used to make Cognac. The grapes must be of certain varieties and grown in specific areas of the region to be considered true Cognac.

History of Cognac

Cognac has a long and storied history, dating back to the 16th century. It was originally produced by Dutch merchants who settled in the region and began distilling wine to create a brandy that could withstand long sea voyages. Over time, the local French population began producing their own Cognac, becoming a popular drink among the nobility. Today, Cognac is considered one of the finest spirits in the world.

How to Drink Cognac

Cognac is typically enjoyed neat or on the rocks. To fully appreciate its flavour, it should be sipped slowly and savoured. It is often served in a snifter glass, which allows the aroma to be captured and enjoyed. The glass should be warmed slightly in your hands before pouring the Cognac, which will help release its full range of flavours and aromas.

Is Cognac a Brandy?

Yes, Cognac is a type of brandy. However, not all brandies are Cognacs. To be considered a true Cognac, the spirit must be produced in the Cognac region and adhere to strict production regulations.

Cognac vs Armagnac

Cognac and Armagnac are both French brandies, but they are produced in different regions of France and have distinct flavour profiles. Cognac is known for its elegant, smooth flavour and floral notes, while Armagnac has a richer, more robust flavour with hints of spice and fruit. Both are aged in oak barrels, but Armagnac is typically aged longer than Cognac.
The distillation process of Cognac and Armagnac is quite similar, but there are some key differences. Both are made by distilling wine, but Armagnac is distilled only once in a continuous still, while Cognac is distilled twice in a pot still. This gives Armagnac a more rustic and robust flavour, while Cognac is known for its elegant and smooth profile. Additionally, Armagnac is often bottled at a higher proof than Cognac, contributing to its more potent taste.

Types of Cognac

Cognac is classified by age, with different designations based on the length of time it has been aged. VS (Very Special) Cognac has been aged for at least two years, VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) for at least four years, and XO (Extra Old) for at least six years. Some of the top brands available on Liquor Wine Cave include Jean Fillioux, Paul Giraud, Grosperrin, Francois Voyer, Dudognon, Mery Melrose, and Normandin Mercier.

Cognac is a refined and complex spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries. Whether you're a seasoned Cognac connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of spirits, there is something for everyone to discover. Explore the rich history, unique flavours, and top brands on Liquor Wine Cave, Australia's best place to buy Cognac.