How to choose the right brandy
Few people know, but brandy is a type of brandy with a strength of 40% and higher. It should be made from Vitis vinifera grapes and kept in contact with oak wood for at least three years. At the same time, cognac with an exposure time of up to 5 years can be maintained both in oak barrels (or bottles) and in tanks (enameled or made of stainless steel) with oak riveting, more seasoned cognacs – only in oak.
Cognac has no relation to the French cognac: cognac can be produced only from brandy grapes in the province of Charente (this is where the city of Cognac is located, which gave the name to the noble drink).
Cognac and cognac have a similar production technology, but other varieties of grapes that grow on different soil in different climatic conditions can be used for cognac, and other oak wood is used for aging.
How to fake brandy
The main problem of the cognac industry is widespread falsification. The most common way to fake brandy is to replace brandy distillate made from grapes with grain or potato alcohol or non-food spirits (technical or synthetic).
Cognac bottling line at Hennessy? France
Manufacturers are cunning with an exposure: in order not to wait for three years, they speed up the extraction processes due to heating, add flavors and dyes. It also happens that cognac distillate is replaced by grape, obtained from grape marc, or based on less mature distillate.
According to experts Roskoschestvo, in Russia, fakes account for 30% of the market, but the head of the Center for Research of the Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets (TSIFRRA) Vadim Drobiz advises to be wary of these data:
“I’m absolutely sure that the majority of manufacturers that are on this blacklist will challenge the results of the checks. I myself know these manufacturers, they have quite normal products. Apparently, there are imperfections in the most conducted inspection, ”he says.
However, he does not deny that the problem of counterfeit exists in Russia, but reminds that even in Italy, 30% of the wine sold is fake, and it is impossible to completely remove them from the market. However, according to him, it is still necessary to fight – by checking and reducing excise taxes.
How to choose a real cognac Specialty stores. Buy a fake in the supermarket is much easier than in the alcohol shop, so try to choose brandy in the latter. Price. The minimum retail price for a 0.5 liter bottle of brandy in Russia is 371 rubles. However, market experts claim that this figure is understated – taking into account excise taxes and production technology, brandy should cost at least 450 rubles. Proceed from this data when choosing, but remember that in Russia the price for cognac is not the most reliable benchmark: for 500 rubles you can buy a decent drink, as well as very doubtful. Packaging. Pay attention to the label: the name of the product, composition, volume, production date, shelf life, storage conditions, nutritional value and recommendations for use should be indicated on it. If any of these data is not present or etiquette is pasted casually, it is better to refuse the purchase. At the same time, if there is an opportunity, check the selected bottle with the image on the manufacturer’s website. Exposure. The higher it is, the harder and brighter the taste and the higher the price. Years of exposure must match the name of the brandy and the number of stars. You can check it by eye by the color of the drink: the slower the extract, the lighter the cognac. Found cognac color of buckwheat honey with 3 asterisks – better leave it in the store. How to drink brandy
Cognac production is a great art, and in order to understand it, we need experience, knowledge and training, says the expert of Roskachestvo, the chief editor of the magazine “Spirits”, Mikhail Bednyakov. However, some of the nuances can understand everyone.
Storehouse brandy Ararat, Yerevan
First of all, brandy needs an atmosphere, calm or respectable – noble drink is hardly suitable for noisy parties. It should be poured either into special brandy glasses (snifters), or into tulip-shaped glasses, – a glass or a pile will not allow to evaluate the aroma. Needless to say, the glass should be perfectly clean and dry.
Starting tasting, do not rush. Churchill said: “A good brandy is like a woman. Do not try to take it by storm. Keep it warm in your hands before you put your lips on it. ” So follow this guide.