What is cognac

What is cognac

Cognac (FR. cognac) — a strong alcoholic drink amber-Golden color, produced from cognac alcohol obtained by distillation of dry white wines, made from selected and strictly defined grape varieties (Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard and Montilla), followed by aging it in oak barrels or tank cars, loaded with oak staves.

Cognac drink got its name on behalf of the city of Cognac (FR. Cognac), region Poitou — Charentes, Department of Charente, France. With the surrounding area and the city of Cognac and due to the appearance of this alcoholic beverage.

Cognac production in France is organized on the basis of vineyards located around Cognac and divided into 6 zones – Grande Champagne (Grande champagne), Petite Champagne (Petit champagne), Les Borderies (Le border), Les Fins Bois (Les Fins Bois), Les Bons Bois (Les Bon Bois) and Les Bois Ordinaires (Les Bois Ordinaires).
Spirits of other countries, as well as beverages produced in France outside the Charente region, even if they are obtained by distillation of grape wines produced in the region of Poitou — Charentes, have no right to be called cognac in the international market, such drinks are called brandy.
In Russia, as, indeed, in a number of other countries, cognac is still called any brandy, that is, strong alcoholic beverage produced by distillation of wine with subsequent aging of spirits in oak barrels. Here talking about the Armenian cognacs, Georgian, Moldovan, Dagestan, etc. meanwhile, a similar interpretation is obviously overbroad; it is increasingly in conflict with the global trend towards recognition of intellectual property rights in geographical names assigned to certain products and reflecting their quality, reputation or other characteristics.

Classic technology of cognac has remained unchanged for over two centuries and involves double distillation in a special way received of cognac wine materials on the distillation apparatus Charentais type. Young dry wine, quite acidic and poor tannins, fortress of 7 to 9% is evaporated in two stages in special copper apparatus. In the second stage distillation emit initial ("head") and final ("tails") distillation products to keep only one"heart". Only this colorless alcohol solution with an alcohol content from 69 to 72 degrees will be further aged in oak barrels.

It is believed that exposure is a crucial factor to achieve the highest degree of quality beverage. During aging cognac alcohol absorbs the components of the tree and undergoes slow oxidation. Oak wood gives the drink a Golden amber color, vanilla and nut flavor. At the same time, for the production of cognac French law prescribes the use of oak barrels grown in strictly defined forests.

Cognac has different aging periods. To understand this is not difficult, only need to learn lettering.

V. S. (Very Special) or Trois Etoiles ("Three star") — cognacs with ageing in a barrel not less than 2.5 years;
V. O. (Very Old), Reserve-very old;
V. S. O. P. (Very Superior Old Pale), - very high quality, old, light; cognacs aged in barrels for at least 4 years;
V. V. S. O. P. (Very-Very Superior Old Pale), Grande Reserve-very-very high-quality, old, light; cognacs aged in barrels for at least 5 years;
X. O. (Extra Old), Extra, Napoleon, Hors d'age, Tres Vieux, Vieille Reserve — old, extra; cognac with aging in barrels for 6 years.

In Russia adopted the following classification of cognacs:
brandy — aged for at least 3 — 5 years;
cognacs of special items-aging for at least 4 years, the volume fraction of alcohol 40-42 %, the sugar content of not more than 1.5 % (three stars, five stars);
vintage cognacs-aging for at least 6 years, have their own names, the volume fraction of alcohol 40-57 %, the sugar content of not more than 2.5 % (Moscow, the Caspian, etc.).

Remember that cognac is an alcoholic drink, and like any other alcoholic drink, it adversely affects health. Please note that obilnye substances cognac slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, so the effect of alcohol manifests itself not as quickly as when taking pure vodka. Thanks to them, however, decreases the permeability of the intestinal wall. Also, cognac contains impurities that require oxidation, which makes it difficult to digest ethanol, so the individual rate of alcohol consumption when converted to cognac should be 30-40% lower.

Other strong alcoholic beverages

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