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How to drink brandy?

French playwright Jean-Claude Briswil wrote the play “Dinner”, where Talleyrand teaches Minister Fouche to drink cognac. There is a very curious scene: “With your permission, they do not drink cognac like that,” the diplomat said. – Take a look, please. You take a glass, warm in the palm of your hand, rotate slightly, so that the moisture exudes aroma. Then bring it to your lips, inhale … ”Fouche raises her eyebrows:“ And then? ”Talleyrand wonders:“ Next? Put it on the table. And this is not a joke, but rather a manual for beginners.

First of all: COGNAC DO NOT DRINK, BRAND THE ENJOYED. If only because 50% of the pleasure that cognac gives people is its aromas, its bouquet. But the evaluation of aroma and bouquet is the privilege of tasters. But why not be a taster of every glass of Cognac that falls into your hands? Do not find every time something new and, of course, pleasant? And for the sake of the upcoming pleasure, let’s put aside the old habits (if you had them) and learn how to taste brandy – if you do not already have this art of pleasure.

To begin with, let’s decide on which glasses are applicable for Cognac. The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. The fact is that traditionally brandy traditions spread to the culture of enjoying brandy.

Who is not familiar with the wide low spherical glass shown in the photograph, which is so convenient to warm in your palms? Especially, if it is big enough. But now the Austrian company “Riedel” is confident, and, I must say, it is absolutely reasonable that it is time to put an end to this tradition. Specialists of the company – and she specializes in creating glasses for drinks for more than a quarter of a millennium! – we decided to analyze the traditions. In other words, they carefully studied the way brandy is treated in its homeland, in France. As a result, two amazing glasses were born, the shape of which basically repeats the traditional instrument of the Cellar Masters – the famous “tulip” glass. But “Riedel” made minor adjustments to the shape of glasses, adding to this their knowledge in the field of human perception of aromas, smells and in the area of ​​how taste sensations are formed.

This glass is designed for cognac category V.S.O.P.

Cognac: history, age determination, drinking culture, tips

Its shape emphasizes delicate fruit flavors and reduces the burning of alcohol.

This glass is called a sniffer (from English to sniff – sniff). It can hold up to 840 ml of brandy (of course, less roomy specimens are mostly common). But pouring brandy is always necessary only to the widest part of the sniffer. The bowl of the glass has a spherical shape, tapering upwards. Leg – short. Actually, the sniffer is considered a classic brandy glass. It is called so because cognac is taken to sniff – the narrowed upper part of the glass contributes to this. Plus a spherical shape – it is convenient to hold such a glass with your hand directly behind the bowl and warm the cognac. In France, you are most likely served brandy in the sniffer.

This glass (below) is for brand X.O. and its shape contributes to the preservation of the subtle aromas of these drinks and provides the most complete disclosure of the bouquet.

Cognac: history, age determination, drinking culture, tips

Today, perhaps no less popular, is a glass that looks like a tulip bud. It also tapers at the top. The leg of the “tulip” is long. Hold a similar glass just for her, like a wine. So it is more convenient to rotate it, distributing cognac on the walls of the bowl, so that he would “breathe” with oxygen.

In principle, from which glass to drink brandy: from a sniffer or from a “tulip” – depends on individual preferences.

So. From the glasses of brandy do not drink.

Now, when everything is more or less clear with the glasses, let’s move on to the most pleasant part of the story: how to enjoy brandy.

The first stage of the process is visual. Fill a standing (this is a prerequisite for Cognac!) On the table with a drink by about one quarter. Take a glass by the leg and look at the drink. The color of brandy is fascinating, and although the range of shades is not very large – from light straw to dark chestnut (or dark bronze), but, you see, it is impossible to tear off the eye …

Cognac: history, age determination, drinking culture, tips

Yes, keep in mind, the color can tell you a lot about aging: young cognacs have a lighter color, seasoned ones are dark (if, however, the manufacturer is not “wise” with caramel).

Now appreciate the transparency of the drink. The cognac glass itself is perfectly transparent (at least it should be), therefore through the liquid that filled it you should clearly see the traces of your finger on the opposite side. After that, gently tilt the glass by about 45 degrees and rotate around the axis. Returning the glass to a vertical position, pay attention to how the walls swell and drip down the drops. The more drops and thicker the trace, called the “cognac leg”, the older the brandy.

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