| BRANDY, & ARMAGNAC
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. Brandy Alexander
. Brandy Fizz
The word Brandy comes from the Dutch word brandewijn, ("burnt wine"). This is how Dutch traders, who introduced it to Northern Europe from Southern France and Spain in the 16th century, described wine that had been "burnt," or boiled, in order to distill it. Legend has it that brandy was first produced when an enterprising sea captain distilled wine in order to save space on his ship. He planned to reconstitute it with water when he arrived at his home port, but those who sampled the new concoction liked it just the way it was.
TYPES OF BRANDIES
A fine brandy with a well balanced, smooth taste and distinctive French brandy character. St-Rémy uses eaux-de-vie distilled from eight grape varieties, which are aged 1-2 years, of which 6 months are spent exclusively in small 200 litre oak barrels
A richer, smoother longer-aged brandy from the finest stocks of St- Rémy, the leader of French brandies. St-Rémy XO uses eaux-de-vie distilled from eight grape varieties, which are aged
3 years, of which 12 months is in small 200 litre oak barrels.
Brandy, in its broadest definition, is a spirit made from fruit juice or fruit pulp and skin. More specifically, it is broken down into three basic groupings; Grape , Pomance , and Fruit Brandy .
For Brandy there is no offical zone of production, grape variety, and any oak can be used for aging. Important Brandy-making regions, particularly in Europe , further differentiate their local spirits by specifying the types of grapes that can be used and the specific areas (appellation) in which the grapes used for making the base wine can be grown. Better Brandies, like St-Remy stay faithful to the cognac production methods.
Cognac and Armagnac are specific types of Brandy.
COGNAC - the Benchmark of all Brandies >>more ARMAGNAC - is the oldest type of Brandy in France . The Armagnac region is located in the heart of the ancient province of Gascony in the southwest corner of France. Distillation takes place in the unique alambic Armagnacais, a type of column still that is even more "inefficient" than a typical Cognac pot still. The resulting brandy has a rustic, assertive character and aroma that requires additional cask aging to mellow it out. The best Armagnacs are aged in casks made from the local Monlezun oak. In recent years Limousin and Troncais oak casks have been added to the mix of casks as suitable Monlezun oak becomes harder to find. Most Armagnacs are blends, but unlike Cognac where single vintages are produced by few houses, Armagnac single vintages and single vineyard bottlings can be found. The categories of Armagnac are generally the same as those of Cognac (V.S., V.S.O.P., X.O., etc.)
METAXA - Even though it is classified as a brandy, Metaxa is really unique : it is smoother than a traditional brandy due to the use of Muscat wines, Mediterranean botanicals and rose petals.".
TYPES OF BRANDIES
Grape Brandy is Brandy distilled from fermented grape juice or crushed but not pressed grape pulp and skin. This spirit is aged in wooden casks (usually oak) which colors it, mellows the palate, and adds additional aromas and flavors.
Pomance Brandy (Italian Grappa and French Marc are the best-known examples) is Brandy made from the pressed grape pulp, skins, and stems that remain after the grapes are crushed and pressed to extract most of the juice for wine.
Fruit Brandy is the default term for all Brandies that are made from fermenting fruit other than grapes. Fruit Brandies, except those made from berries, are generally distilled from fruit wines. Berries tend to lack enough sugar to make a wine with sufficient alcohol for proper distillation, and thus are soaked (macerated) in high-proof spirit to extract their flavor and aroma. The extract is then distilled once at a low proof. Calvados, the Apple Brandy from the Normandy region of Northwestern France, is probably the best known type of Fruit Brandy.