Cognac glasses: know all about them

Cognac is one of the most refined, elegant and popular after dinner beverage. To savor its fine flavor and appreciate the nuances of this luxurious drink use of proper cognac glasses is vital. Cognac glasses are of two types, namely the long stemmed tulip shaped glass that is most preferred by the connoisseurs and the snifter or the balloon shaped glass with a short stem.

There are several brands available today to choose the cognac glasses of your taste and budget. Brands like Riedel, Waterford crystal, Spiegelau, Normann- Copenhagen, Anchor hocking have an amazing collection of cognac glasses in various price range.

Made in Austria by the world renowned glass makers Riedel makes six different types of cognac glasses to serve different cognacs. For example, the Riedel Vinum Cognac Hennessy Cocktail Glass balances the aroma and you will detect no pungent fumes as the flute shape allows very small evaporation of its contents. This glass is recommended for cognac XO, VSOP, and Ugni Blanc (Cognac).

The price range varies from $39.99 to $139.95 (for the Hennessy cocktail glass mentioned above) and discounts are offered by the different web sites if you choose to shop for these online.

Waterford Crystal is the name synonymous with the producers of finest crystal in the world. Their craftsmanship, amazing designs and stringent quality makes them the leaders in crystal ware. They launched a line of hand made, mouth blown crystal glasses called Connoisseur Gold Collection that are made in Brazil.

It includes various designs that include cognac VSOP (6 ounce) and Cognac (20 ounce) glasses. It has a god tint at the base of the stem that justifies the term “Connoisseur Gold”. These cognac glasses have a clean classic shape designed to capture the aroma and taste of the spirit.

Designed by Rikke Hagen, the beautiful and functional Normann Copenhagen cognac glasses are the swirling glasses without the stem. Hold it in your palm and gently swirl the liquid in it to release its flavors and when you place it on the table these cognac glasses will gently rotate before coming to rest. A great gift for someone who appreciates and savors his drink, it retails at $80 at for set of two.

Spiegelau Cognac Glasses come in a set of six that are perfect for casual or formal gatherings. Spiegelau are dedicated to produce the highest quality cognac glasses that are not only high on aesthetics but are value for money too. It is very well suited for the contemporary and exciting life style and aims at providing the ultimate experience in enjoying your cognac.

Anchor Hocking, a popular brand in the U S A has some of the finest glass ware to offer. They have the premium glass ware collection and also offer 9 ounce Brandy stem glass in a set of twelve that can greatly enhance your pleasure of savoring your drink.

The various brands mentioned above and the glasses they offer are a beautiful combination of function and pleasure. Each of this glass is constructed with consideration to its content, aroma, temperature and volume. The shape of cognac glasses is such that it increases the intimate experience of drinking cognac by accentuating its deep color and bringing about its flavors.

Tips on knowing how to buy cognac

Before you can go out and buy cognac it would do well if you were well acquainted and familiar with the terms and facts about cognac first. Cognac is usually graded and one should know what the letters on the bottle mean. For example, a VS cognac means that it is “Very Special” but it is very young having been aged for about 2 years in a cask. A VSOP cognac is a “Very Special Old pale” which is around 4 years old and a “XO” cognac which is “Very Old” and been aged for 6 years or so are the different types of cognacs that one should know about.

If you need to buy cognac you should also know how cognac is classified on the basis of the region it has been distilled. Regions like Petite Champagne, Grand Champagne, Fins Bois, Bois Ordinaires, Bons Bois and Borderies produce cognac with different flavors that are distinctive and attributable to the grapes grown in particular soils.

Most cognacs are sold in beautiful and attractive bottles that would make any collector yearn to buy them. One has to read the labels on these bottles carefully because they give you a lot of information about the whole distillation as well as the type and quality of grapes it is made from. Therefore it is important to be well informed before you go out to buy cognac.

Most people think that if you have to go out and buy cognac it will put a huge dent in your wallet. This is because cognac is an alcoholic drink that is though to be a “royal” one that is for the “rich” people! However there are plenty of brands that are pretty affordable and can be bought at a price that suits your budget perfectly. Rare cognacs and some of the best brands of cognac are extremely expensive and can range from $ 500 a bottle to $ 3.4 million a bottle! These are of course those that have aged for over 100 to 200 years!

It goes without saying that one’s personal taste will ultimately govern one’s selection in the end! Best cognac brands have a distinctive flavor and most connoisseurs can identify and recognize it instantly. If you are thinking of first tasting several cognacs before buying one, it is a wise thing to do. Remember the glass should be filled only one fifth of its capacity. Take care to use your palms to warm the balloon glass so that the flavor is enhanced. Know that a good cognac has a rich, clear amber color. Finally, after you inhale the aroma of the cognac, swirl it around to release the bouquet and inhale once more. You can be sure of the delicious blend of nut, floral, spice and fruit scents. Once you are aware of these tips you can be sure that you will make a good buy.

If you want to buy cognac and be thoroughly satisfied with what you bought, you should be familiar with all the cognac “terms”. For example, “fine” means that all of the grapes (100%) used in the production of the cognac comes from a particular region in France. This means that a “fine” champagne cognac was produced using the grapes that are grown in the Champagne region in France.

How to recognize some of the best cognac in the world

Normally when one talks about the best cognac one usually means the brandy distilled in Cognac, France. Cognac, apart from being extremely famous and consumed all over the world, can be bought in various ranges that depend on different taste levels and appreciation for particular brands. It goes without saying that the more expensive the cognac bottle – the better the taste! However, a look at the best cognac brands available worldwide will help one get a better idea about this fabulous drink.

Cognac brands range from Bisquit, Camus and Courvoisier to Hennessy, Moyet and Remy Martin. Not only should one take into consideration the price tag on the cognac bottles but also other factors like age, taste, distillation, color and the packaging. There are different characters or letters that appear on the cognac bottle that tell us more about the cognac inside. Therefore it is important to know what these letters signify.

Best cognac brands prove to be everything they say they are! Not only is cognac a royal and elite drink but facts prove that it is worth the money. Being distilled only in Cognac, France from famous grapes like the Ugni Blanc, this drink is aged for over 2 years in barrels of Limousin Oak. Cognac grades range from VS which means “Very Superior”, XO which means “Extra Old” and VSOP which means “Very Superior Old Pale”. This gives one an impression of the drink being for rich people! However, many good cognac brands are found to be quite affordable! The fact that Cognac has found its biggest market in the United States proves that this delicious drink has been embraced by many!

People generally believe that some of the best cognac brands are Henessy, Remy Martin, Courvoisier and Martell because they are the most popular brands that are sold worldwide. These best cognac brands are sold in beautiful, exquisite bottles that are a collector’s delight. The Hennessy V.S.O.P. is said to be aged for 15 years in French Oak. The taste no doubt is smooth and satisfying!

When one talks about best cognac brands available in the market today one cannot help but wonder about the most expensive cognacs that have been bottled. Studies show that these range from a staggering price of $ 5000 – the Courvoisier L’Esprit Decanter and the $ 55,000 Remy Martin Cognac Black Pearl Louis XIII to the mind blowing $ 3.4 million Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne that is barreled for over 100 years and sold in a platinum and 6,500 diamonds encrusted bottle!

The fact that best cognac is only made from grapes that are of a very high quality from the cognac area/region of France, separates it from brandy which is made from different fruits. It is important to know specific regions where the cognac has been produced and distilled because these regions produce best cognac brands that have different flavors according to the difference in the soil where the grapes are grown. That is why you will have cognac from Petite Champagne, Grande Champagne, Fins Bois, Borderies, Bois Ordinaires and Bons Bois etc.

Cognac extra – popular brands selected just for you

Cognac is graded according to the age of the beverage and cognac extra specifies that the minimum it needs to be aged is six years; but the average age is much longer than the required number of years. Cognac extra is older than cognac Napoleon or XO. The age of the cognac is calculated as that of the youngest eau de vie in the blend. To make it easier we will sort Cognac extra according to the brands.

Courvoisier Cognac Initiale Extra is a rare blend of more than 60 very old eaux de vie that are aged to their very peak for many decades. It is a complex and deep cognac with layers of fragrant truffle, cedar and cinnamon. Courvoisier Initiale Extra originates from the Grande Champagne and Borderies crus.

It is best enjoyed neat to enjoy its subtle flavors. It is recommended that the cognac be left untouched for a minute after being poured allowing it a breathing time. It is priced at about $250 and some of the web sites offer 27% discount on the order of 6 bottles.

High end brand named L’Essence de Courvoisier from this house comes in a crystal decanter. It is a fine blend of over 100 rare eaux de vies and has a flowery, nutty taste with hints of caramel and honey.

Cognac Extra Richard Hennessy is named after the world famous house of Hennessey and comes in a hand made Baccarat decanter. It is blended from more than 100 fine eaux de vie that are aged for about 200 years in oak barrels. It has an alcohol content of 40% usual for all cognac, and its bouquet presents great vanilla aroma, spices and flowery notes. Richard Hennessey Extra is an intense cognac that is both balanced and complex. It is the winner of 2010 world spirit competition winning the gold.

One of the world famous brand of cognac is the Remy Martin that produces cognac extra scoring 93 points given by the Beverage Tasting Institute. This is Remy Martin at its excellent best, the dark orange liquid that is full bodied having nutty aroma with nuances of herbs. It also produces the Remy Martin Extra Perfect Cognac that stands for luxury, elegance and refinement. It is embodiment of champagne cognac and its magical taste lies in its perfect balance, originality and its rare age. It retails at around $798 – $800.

Martell Extra cognac brandy is known for its superior quality and is produced by blending eaux de vie from the four finest growing areas in cognac. The house of Martell produces Martell Extra Creation Grand Cognac(winner 2010, silver International wine and spirit competition); Martell Extra Cohiba decanter, Martell Extra L’Orde Jean Martell (winner,2010 silver). With the legendary bottles Martell Cordon Bleu, Martell L’Orde Jean Martell and Creation Grand Extra, the cognac house has implanted itself in the luxury goods market.

Other brands include Frapin Extra Grande Champagne Cognac that comes in 700ml bottle, you can buy a 50ml bottle if you want to give it a try, aged for 40 -50 years. Leopold Gourmel cognac brings two variants of extra cognac, Leopold Gourmel Extra Age des Fleurs 15 Carats Cognac that is supposed to be perfect for the hunting season; and Leopold 20 Carats Age de Epices which is a very old cognac which is good to have with a good meal.

Whether it is Remy martin cognac extra which is full bodied, dry with a deep cast or a Courvoisier extra that is deep and complex with fragrant layers, any cognac extra you decide to enjoy depending on the brand you like; one thing that is sure is that it provides an ultimate experience in enjoying your beverage.