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« Literary Drinking Vocabulary | Main | Tasting French Spirits »
Friday
Feb112011

Podcast #6 - Cognac Importer Nicolas Palazzi

The man who brought us two of the best spirits from 2010, Nicolas Palazzi, sits down with me to discuss the differences between Cognac and Armagnac, catering to the American whiskey palate, and building relationships with rural French producers.  This is required listening for anyone trying to get into French brandies!  The podcast can be downloaded here from our server (right click for PC users or hold "option" for Mac people).

Previous podcast episodes can be downloaded here or from iTunes.  You can also listen using the embedded Flash player below.

-David Driscoll

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Reader Comments (3)

Really enjoyed this, thanks! One thing I was hoping would be addressed, but wasn't and perhaps you can help David, are some recommendations on cognacs for people who don't know anything about them or were never interested in them before. This 'cast definitely sparked my curiosity, but unfortunately I don't have $600 to spend -- is there something more reasonable that you can recommend that will get my taste buds excited about cognac? Thanks!

February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDK

to previous comment, amicably sugget you will, sooner or later, buy blindly to learn if you persist in your interest. Doing so from the start serves no less.
You know (likely) that Courvoisier is the most broadly known brand. You probably recognize designations VS (very special), VSOP (very special), XO (extremely old) as relative rather than specific to years aged.

As base for comparison to all after, Courvoisier of all three grades is a durable grounding from which to rise. Some or all are sold as pints to reduce educational expense.

My preference is Armagnac, not least since, less known, it's likely more quality per dollar due to reduced demand. From there, it's a short step to Calvados, from which I see little point returning.

Pricing, to me, is best with bourbon, next with medium grade fine scotch, and cognac inordinate by compare. But I can buy Armagnac & Spanish brandy at high grade for less than high grade scotch, which is price parsed like a comic book store.

As NP says, DD refrains, cognac is appellation, varietal & age more than wood & still process or proprietor. Blending freedom means less uniformity in similar product types and within brands. You're wise to entreat a referral. Labels, with flavor profile or not, are more mystery than whiskey's.

Went to my shelf now, found a Landy XO discount priced but still not one I'll replace.
But there is Castel D'Ajac french brandy, GD d'Alba spanish, german Asbach, all less costly for Cognac attribution absent, each well worth another.
And a dear Lepanto. PX barrels rule.

note to DD: do you provide guests an advance outline? With second language complications, less improvisation might've meant less aural labor for listeners.

In the spirit of even better shows,
so I can buy more in confident knowledge,

- customer z

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermorlock

cp VSOP very special old pale.

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermorlock

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