Brandy poured from bottle into glass
How To Drink Brandy Like A True Connoisseur
Learn Brandy Styles
Brandy is distilled from fermented fruit, like wine, and aged in oak barrels, like whiskey, resulting in a wide range of brandy styles worldwide.
Varieties range from French Cognac and Italian grappa to South African brandy and Peruvian pisco. Generally, wine-producing regions will also produce good brandy.
Consider Production
Most brandy is made from distilled grapes, but there are also fruit brandies made from apples, pears, cherries, and plums, each with different characteristics.
Brandy can be distilled in either column stills, which produce a more neutral flavor, or copper stills, which leave many compounds intact for a stronger flavor.
After distillation, the brandy is aged in oak barrels. Depending on the type of oak used and the duration of aging, brandy can have many different notes and aromas.
Know The Top Shelf
French Armagnac and Cognac are recognized as some of the best brandy thanks to France’s strict laws of production that ensure a high-quality spirit.
Other top-shelf brandies that can give you an understanding of the spirit's complexities include French calvados, South African brandy, and Spanish brandy.
Keep a Variety
You can continue refining your palate by keeping a variety of brandies on hand so you can revisit, compare, and reconsider each brandy in relation to others.
You may keep bottles of cognac, Armagnac, Peruvian pisco, and Italian grappa, so you can regularly observe the intricacies of their texture, colors, aromas, and flavors.
Understand Uses
While brandy can be enjoyed in many situations, there are a few instances when the spirit is best kept under wraps due to its rich flavor and high alcohol content.
For example, while Brandy makes an excellent aperitif or digestif, it shouldn’t be enjoyed with spicy or high-temperature foods.