Many consider cognac and wine to be a class apart. It is not as easy to define them as one might think. The term ‘cognac’ refers to any variety of black grapes grown in France, and specifically in the Loire Valley. In English the term refers to any brand of sparkling wine or Bordeaux, with a greater emphasis on the French style of sparkling wine rather than Bordeaux itself. Learn more here on this website.
All About drinking cognac and French Wine
Traditionally the best place to buy cognac was at a French cognac house, or in other words, in a French wine growing area. In modern times however, there are many well-known Bordeaux vineyards, where you can buy French wine quite cheaply. For example you could visit a Uxbridge chalet, or a farm in the Loire valley. Most Bordeaux vineyards are located above 8 ft of ground and have their own temperature regulating systems, similar to our homes in that they need to stay chilled. In addition, there are usually many smaller terrace gardens located just below the vines, allowing the full enjoyment of all the grapes’ colours, flavours and aromas. Of course, when buying French wine you do get what you pay for, so try to stick to French styles which tend to be more gently scented, fruitier, and with a lesser amount of tannin than those produced in Burgundy.
As mentioned earlier, the most famous style of French cognac is called ‘champagne’. This refers to a single fermentation, single vintage bottle of French wine, usually from a Bordeaux variety, that is served only at a particular occasion. Champagne actually derives from two words, ‘chaute’ (French for ‘open’) and ‘Histoire’ (a history). This name, plus the image of a cup containing ‘black foam’ has become synonymous with champagne, and almost as popular is the image of Champagne, the bubbly stuff, on a table in a French restaurant. Whatever your preference, if you’re looking for great tasting, smooth, balanced wine, a French Champagne is what you need.