NOTE: New Material Included in Video
Blending, or the combining of multiple ingredients, has always been part of the art of cooking. So too has it always been a part of wine making and the creation of exotic mixed drinks. So, it should be no surprise that blending the flavors and aromas of Cognac with the culinary arts results in a sum greater than its parts. In fact, this beautiful marriage of components is likely to elicit a gastronomical delight. But, as with cooking, it is all about the quality of the ingredients.
There is a familiar saying, “All Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac”, and the Cognac region of France is rightly famous for its brandy, a spirit made by double-distilling wine to create an eau-de-vie, a colorless liquid of about 70% alcohol. After years of aging in large oak barrels, the spirit takes on additional complexities and various shades of amber-gold color depending upon age. During this aging process much of the alcohol is lost through evaporation (called the “angel’s share”), and after final blending the spirit is reduced to about 40% alcohol. Cognac is usually consumed on its own as an aperitif (before dinner), as a digestif (after dinner drink), or used in cooking. In addition, it has also become very popular as an ingredient in many cocktails.
GrapeRadio is pleased to present, “The Art of Blending”, a tribute to the artistic efforts of master blenders, chefs, and mixologists who use palettes of flavors to create passion in the world of wine, food and cocktails.
For More Info on Cognac: www.bnic.fr
Some demijohns from 1820 at rest in a Paradis cellar (‘Grande Champagne’ refers to a specific growing region, considered the most important in Cognac) – Otard
Barrel cellar. Alcohol evaporation causes a fungus referred to as the “angel’s share” to collect on ceiling beams and walls; note the earthen floor – Merkow
Château Fontpinot amid the vines – Frapin
Ugni Blanc grapes in June – Frapin
Several older barrels; note the many chestnut barrel rings, which attract bugs that otherwise might have a taste for oak – Hennessy
View of Cognac from the river Charente. Due to fire regulations, all barrel storage must now be located outside the city of Cognac
Tasting table – Hennessy
Fascinating lineage display illustrates the number of components blended into this bottling of Cognac – Courvoisier
Older bottles in cellar, some dating to 1795 – Courvoisier
As evidence of an old seabed, Paul-Jean Giraud shows one of the many fossils he found in his vineyards – Giraud
Vines and landscape around Bouteville – Giraud