Glass of brandy

How to choose a cognac in a store: useful recommendations

For the beginner, buying cognac is a real torture of choice. It is not only easy to run into a fake, but also almost impossible to predict whether the alcohol will please you with its bouquet. But in all nuances it is rather easy to understand, if you learn a few important rules. Let us tell you how to choose the cognac that will be to your liking or will please the birthday boy if you are buying it as a gift. Especially for beginners let's lay out the rules.


How to choose a cognac in a store: 5 main rules for a buyer

In supermarkets and wine boutiques there is a huge selection of cognacs - different brands, varieties and aging. But whatever "alcoholic bouquet" you prefer, when choosing a drink, pay attention to the following points:

Price and place of purchase

It takes about 10 liters of young wine and at least 3 years of time to produce 1 liter of cognac or grape brandy. Agree that such alcohol cannot cost cheap. Therefore, it is better to choose a drink with a "normal" price tag. This at times increases the chances to enjoy an excellent cognac. But avoid beautiful bottles with suspiciously low prices, because it's safer.

Alcohol brand

Brands with a world name produce quality alcohol. It is useless to argue with this. Therefore it is better to choose a well-known brand cognac and not a "no name" drink, which you'd be afraid even to smell.

Checking for authenticity

Unfortunately, most often it is expensive branded cognac that is counterfeited. You spend a lot of money in the hope to get quality and unsurpassed taste, but in fact you get spirit, diluted with flavors and dyes.

How to choose a quality cognac and not to buy a fake? Here it does not hurt to know the basic distinctive features of a particular brand - in what containers it pours drinks, how it marks the bottles. And you should also appreciate, whether the labels are glued exactly and the cork is well closed.

Age of cognac

The age of a noble cognac largely determines its taste. The aroma of the drink acquires many tones and halftones, the harsh smell of alcohol disappears. Connoisseurs assure that it is better to give preference to cognacs with at least 6 years of aging.


Those who periodically spoil themselves with quality drinks know how to choose a good cognac. Many brands of alcohol are already "tasted", the favorite varieties and bouquets are defined. But it is more difficult for a beginner. If doubt, whether you like alcohol, trust the reviews of "the experienced". It is not a 100% guarantee that you will definitely like the cognac. But at least there is some hope.

You can also check a number of mobile applications, which collected a huge database of alcoholic beverages with reviews of ordinary consumers and sommeliers.


How to choose a French cognac

"Real" cognac can be called only a drink produced in France. Famous brands keep traditions, working according to ancient recipes and technologies. And then everything else is a fake? No. Beverages produced in other countries fall under the category of "grape brandy. In principle, they cannot be called cognac.

French cognacs are the standard of quality. Their production is strictly controlled by the state. Brands will not risk their reputation by putting on the market a dubious product. Whichever French brand you choose, you can be sure that the alcohol will bring a real gastronomic pleasure. The recognized leaders are considered to be the following brands of cognac: Hennessy, Martell, Remy Martin, Camus.

French cognac, because it is expensive, is very often counterfeited. Before buying be sure that you are holding a real branded drink! Don't waste your money.

Many French cognacs hit store shelves only after 6 years of "imprisonment" in an oak barrel.

How to choose the right cognac depending on the ageing? Look at the label of the drink, look for the "incomprehensible" abbreviation. And it designates the term of aging of cognac:

- V.S. (Very Special) - at least two years;

- S. (Special) or V.O.. (Very Old) - 3 years;

- V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) - 4 years;

- V.V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) - 5 years;

- X.O. (Extra Old) - more than 6 years.

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