Brandy is the alcoholicbeverage distilled from wine or a fermented fruit mash.The term used alone generally refers to the grape product; brandies made fromthe wines or fermented mashes of other fruits are commonly identified by thespecific fruit name. With the exception of certain fruit types, known as whitetypes, brandies are usually aged. Aging inwooden containers deepens colour to amber, the use of paraffin-lined casks orearthenware maintains the original clear colour, and the addition of a caramelsolution darkens colour. Beverage brandy contains about 50 percent alcohol byvolume; brandy used to fortify sherry, Madeira, and the otherdessert wines contains about 80–95 percent alcohol by volume. Like other distilled liquor,brandy does not improve after bottling. Star or letter designations,formerly indicating age, are used by shippers to express product quality.The name comes from the Dutch brandewijn (“burntwine”), referring to the application of heat in distillation.
Commercial distillation of brandy from wine originated in the 16th century.According to one story, a Dutch shipmaster began the practice by concentratingwine for shipment, intending to add water upon reaching home port, but theconcentrated beverage immediately found acceptance.Most wine-producing countries also make brandy. Outstanding Frenchbrandies include cognac,from the Charente and Charente-Maritime départements ofFrance, usually considered the finest of all brandies, and Armagnac, fromthe Gers region. The sherry-producing centres of Spain and the port-producingcentres of Portugal are also known for brandy.
Greek brandyincludes Metaxa, sweetened and usually darkened with caramel, and ouzo, colourless and flavouredwith anise or licorice. American brandy, produced mainly in California, tendsto be neutral and uniform in character. Pisco,mainly produced in Peru, is distilled from muscat wines. Brandies distilledfrom grape pomace, or marc, the material remaining in the winepress after grapepressing, include the French eau-de-vie de marc, forwhich Burgundy is well known, and grappa, an unaged, sharp-tasting brandyproduced in both Italy and California.Major wine-producing regions of France Figure 1: French Wine RegionBrandies are usuallyserved alone or with soda as after-dinner drinks. They are used to flavourmixed drinks and various dessert dishes and as fuel to produce the flame insuch flamed dishes as crepes Suzette and cherries jubilee. Brandy is also usedas a base spirit in the production of another type of distilled liquor,the liqueur.History of ArmagnacFrom the Gascony region in southwest France?Armagnac, the cousin of Cognac, is a brandy that hails.
(Armagnac, 2015)For example, Cognac is a produced from a base of white wine, but unlike Cognac.With a round and rich flavor, it goes through only a single slow distillationwhich produces a brandy. After the distillation, from the local oak forest, itundergoes an extended period of aging in barrels made primarily. To shed itsharshness of youth, the longer aging allows the brandy. Although Armagnac sales in the US ,it have beenincrease the sale rate in recent years the artisanal nature of this spirits, itmeans that production is small and it remains a secret to be discovered by themost wine and spirits lovers. The Wine Lovers of NYC wants to change something!Join us on Sunday, November 13 as May Matta-Aliah, the New York ArmagnacAmbassador and president of In the Grape.
An organization dedicated to makingwine and spirits education accessible to everyone, it will be present 6wonderful Armagnacs in addition to a welcome Armagnac Punch. This promises tobe very fun and educational adventure into one of the greatest brandies ofFrance and that still remains a well-kept secret to most, but not for long. (Introduction to Armagnac, 2015)Besides that, by France’s best-kept secret, Armagnac let’s getseduced.
Steeped in a history, that goes back 700 years and flavored by thecharacters that can only be found in the Gascony. (An Introduction, 2014) A sip of Armagnac recalls secretcellars, musketeers, French berets and a character as unique as the people thatput their heart and soul into producing it. Join us on this guided journeythrough the picturesque vineyards and it also got dramatic cellars of Gascony.We can enjoy an unprecedented tasting of the Armagnacs.
The tasting willhighlight the range of styles produced from VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) oldto XO (Extra Old). And It also from the Hors d’Age to the Vintages. Proprietarydistillation techniques and the importance of the local oak barrels will all bediscussed it local in Grape Varieties.
Of this fine spirit and an appreciationfor why the French are more than happy to keep this seductive spirit a secretall to them, you will come away with a deeper understanding.As the finest producer of brandy in the world, Armagnac is onlyone of the world are the true rival to Cognac for recognition. It is one of only threeofficially demarcated brandy regions in Europe, and it along with Cognac and Jerez in Spain.Its quantity of the production is significantly lower than that of theCognac region. For every six bottles of Armagnac, it will sold around the world there are onehundred bottles of cognac sold.For around 200 years longer than Cognac, Armagnac has been making brandy (French Entree, 2003).
Armagnac is a French grape brandy and it is the most similar to cognac, but it ultimately very different in production and flavorprofile. Inthis post, I’ll cover the basics of the armagnac. In next post, I’ll discuss the main differences between the cognacand the armagnac. In the presentation, Armagnac is the most established schnaps in France,with references going back the extent that 1411 amid it was utilized for themost part for helpful reasons. These days, the liquor being the drink ofdecision for us to quiet the nerves following stun. There was 200 yearspreviously the main specify of Cognac and has dependably thrown a shadow overthe schnaps it jumps at the chance to see as a littler, non-debilitating, andmore youthful sibling.
These days anyway it is Armagnac which is the risingstar and enormous sibling Cognac has a considerable measure to keep an eye outfor!Made inthe Pays de Gascogne in the far south west of France, Armagnac has threeparticular delivering locales (The OXFORD WINE Company, 1840):· Basarmagnac: delivers the most lofty Armagnacs with a specific bundle of plum. · Ténarèze:delivers some exceptionally perfumed spirits which are now and again preferablycoarser than those from alternate regions. It is in charge of a large portionof the generation of Armagnac. · Hautarmagnac: this epithet has the biggest domain however the littlest vineyardzone with the littlest creation of the three zones. Armagnacis still mostly created by little scale rustic cultivators with a few makerssharing versatile stills that are driven around the wide open at generationtime. Local people used to joke that when crows went over the district theyflew topsy turvy so they couldn’t perceive how poor the region was! Regardlessof whether this is the situation these days is dubious yet in examination with Cognacwhere worldwide makers are ordinary, this dependability to the foundations ofthe customs of the Armagnac business is one of many components that safe aplace in the hearts of shoppers for this authentic soul. CharacteristicsArmagnacis to be gradually tasted and delighted in and it is legitimately tasted muchlike wine.
Here are the things to search for when tasting Armagnac: · Color – The color of an Armagnac is vigorously dependant uponto what extent it was matured. The more drawn out the soul has spent in woodbarrels, the wealthier the shading. More youthful Armagnac that hasn’t investedmuch energy in wood barrels is brilliant and nectar shaded while more seasonedArmagnacs are profound dark colored and mahogany in shading.
· Aroma – When a glass of Armagnac is first put to the nose, theliquor is the primary thing you’ll smell. After the main starting aroma, holdup a couple of minutes and convey it to the nose once more. Since your nose isutilized to the liquor fragrance, you will have the capacity to identify thegentler smells of the Armagnac – like vanilla, wood, cooked nuts and a trace ofdried dim organic product. · Taste – Taking only a little taste, let the Armagnac lay onyour tongue and after that twirl it tenderly around your mouth to move beyondthe liquor consume and appreciate all the inconspicuous kind of the soul.
Production MethodsDistillationThe distillation takesplace during winter with a limit date of 31st March of the year following the harvest;for several years this date has been brought forward by an annual decree. The wine is often distilled on the estate, sometimes using a travellingdistiller who goes from cellar to cellar distilling the winemakers’ wine. It is also produced in distilleries by professional distillers or cooperatives.Most of Armagnac (about95%) is obtained using a specific alambic for this eau-de-vie: a continuousArmagnac alambic. It is a pure copper apparatus that was endorsed in 1818(by a stove maker in Auch, Sieur Tuillière, under the reign of King LouisXVIII), and adapted, modified, improved by the region’s distillers. Ittruly gives the personality to Armagnac. (5 differences between cognac and armagnac, 2016)The wine permanentlyfeeds the alambic from the bottom of the cooler. It is thanks to thisthat the alcohol vapours contained in the serpentine cool down.
It isdriven towards the distillation column where it goes down from plate to plateuntil it reaches the boiler. With the strong heat provided by thefurnace, the vapours from the wine pass back up the column and bubble in thewine at the level of each plate. They become enriched with the alcoholand the aromatic substances in the wine before being condensed then cooled inthe serpentine.On leaving the alambic,the eau-de-vie is transparent and its alcohol degree can vary between 52% and72% (though it is traditionally around 52% to 60%). At this moment, theArmagnac is still full of ardour, though it already has great aromaticrichness: very fruity (plum, grape) and often floral (vine flowers or limeflower). The ageing in wood will give it its complexity and increasingsoftness.
Alambic Armagnacais Figure 2: Armagnac Still1. TheageingOnce it has been distilled, Armagnac is put to age in« pièces »: 400 litreoak barrels mostly from the forests of Gascony or Limousin.These pièces arestored in the cellars where the temperature and the humidity are important forthe quality of the ageing. Thereafter, the cellar master monitors theevolution of his eaux-de-vie:· The extraction of the tannin compounds and aromas from thebarrel· The evaporation of a part of the eau-de-vie and thereduction of the alcohol degree (about ½ degree per year), known as the’angel’s share’.· The evolution of the aromas coming from the wood and thewine through a slow oxidation of the Armagnac in contact with the air throughthe barrel.
The eaux-de-vie stay in new barrels just until thedissolution level of substances in the wood is optimal. They are thentransferred to older barrels in order to avoid an excessive extraction of woodand continue their slow evolution: the substances in the wood become morerefined, aromas of vanilla and prunes develop, the « rancio » character appearsand the alcohol degree diminishes gradually through the evaporation of thealcohol (the angel’s share). The eau-de-vie takes on a lovely ambercolour that then turns to mahogany. Lovely amber colour that then turnsto mahoganyFigure 3: Colour of armagnacAfter a certain number of years and constant evaluation bythe cellar master, that can be as long as 50 years, the eaux-de-vie are putinto glass so that there is no more wood extraction and only once it isconsidered to be at its peak: it is the famous demi-johns (known as ‘bonbonnes’ in Armagnac),preciously conserved in the ‘paradis’. 2. BlendsOnce the cellar master considers that the ageing issufficient, he will start ‘les coupes’,in other words, making harmonious blends of several eaux-de-vie of differentorigins and ages. The level of alcohol for consumption (40% vol.
minimum) canbe achieved by gradually adding ‘petites eaux’ a blend of Armagnac anddistilled water that is aged independently and used exclusively for reducingblends. 3. VintagesThe vintage is a specificity in Armagnac that correspondsexclusively to the year of harvest.
Reducing vintages is often notnecessary particularly if the cellar is humid so they are often available attheir natural alcohol strength of ageing that is generally between 40% and 48%vol. Once in bottles, Armagnac no longer ages though it is important to keepthe bottle upright so that the alcohol can’t attack the cork. Serving Technique· Not just for after dinner (Five Tips For Drinking Armagnac, 2016)Brandiesand Armagnacs do not just have to be after dinner sips. Instead, try a BlancheArmagnac for a fresh and flavorful start to a meal.
It can also be paired withsmoked seafood, caviar, and carpaccio. Or, it can be served between heavycourses as a palate cleanser. Other, aged in oak, Armagnacs are perfectlypaired with game or grilled meats.· Warmer is sometimes betterAnArmagnac that has been aged for many years and has deep, rich flavors does wellwhen it is warmer.
Make sure the bottle is at room temperature before serving.Once it has been poured into your glass, cup the glass with the palm of yourhand to gently warm the spirit. This will allow that aromas to show themselvesand enhance the drinking experience. However, other bottles are more enjoyablewhen they are slightly chilled. Do some research into your particular Armagnacbefore serving.
No matter the temperature, Armagnac should be served in athin-glassed snifter or wine glass to bring the aromas to your nose.· Treat it as a sauceThenext time you are enjoying a simple fruit dessert or ice cream, try pouringsome Armagnac over top. Choose a spirit with a thicker body and flavor notesthat will match the dessert. · Pairing with cigarsThereis a whole science behind pairing cigars and Armagnac. However, it all comesdown to your preference.
Armin recommends contrasting the flavors of the cigarand spirit rather than trying to match them. For example, sip a fruity Armagnacwith a spicier cigar for beautiful balance. ConclusionArmagnac, thecousin of Cognac, is a brandy that hails from the Gascony region in southwestFrance.
Like Cognac it is produced from a base of white wine, but unlikeCognac, it goes through only a single slow distillation which produces a brandywith a round and rich flavor. After distillation, it undergoes an extendedperiod of aging in barrels made primarily from the local oak forest. The longeraging allows the brandy to shed its harshness of youth and develop into awonderfully supple and seductive spirit. A unique characteristic of Armagnac inthe spirits world is the tradition by distillers in the region to set asidesome Armagnac every year and allow it to age as a single vintage brandy.
Theserarities are wonderful birthday and anniversary treats and make for specialgift items.