What is Brandy vs What is Cognac?
First of all you may be wondering what is the difference in brandy vs cognac? All Cognac is a brandy, but only certain Brandy is Cognac. Confused yet? Let us explain further… Cognac is a specific type of brandy produced in the Cognac region. Much like Champagne which can only be produced in Champagne, France. Cognac can only be produced in the Cognac region in France.
Brandy is a distilled spirit made from grapes or fruit like wine which is distilled and matured in oak barrels. Wine in fact, is what most brandy starts as, a specific type of wine that wouldn’t be very great for ordinary drinking. The wine must be high in acidity and low in alcohol and residual sugar. The wine is heated gentling in a still, where the alcohol and the wine’s water evaporates. Then the concentrated vapors are cooled and condensed into a very pure alcohol that is matured in oak barrels.
What Makes a Good Brandy Snifter or Cognac glass?
In order to fully enjoy the complex aromas and flavors a proper brandy snifter glass is needed to direct the flavors to the right part of your nose, mouth, and palate. The best, most ubiquitous style of brandy and cognac glassware is the snifter glass. Known for its generous bowl size, a snifter allows the aromas and flavors to blossom and build inside so that the drinker gets an enhanced experience. I love this particular brandy snifter because of the extreme change in radius from rim to base. When you lift a glass of brandy to drink, the aromas have had so much room to expand that taking even a brief whiff before sipping makes the complex flavors easier to notice.
What makes Cognac Different?
Grapes from the Cognac region are distilled in copper pot stills. Cognac is distilled twice, vs brandy is distilled once. The spirit then develops and ages in the oak casks for 10 to 15 years, sometimes longer. The Cognac houses then blend older and younger brandies to give their product a consistent and desirable product year after year. As you can see the complexity of cognac demands a special glass to enjoy all of those complexities. That’s why you don’t drink cognac or brandy from a typical open ended glass.
For anyone who serves only top-shelf spirits at home, quality counts when it comes to good glassware. Brandy glasses and cognac snifters are no exception. With so many ways to drink brandy, each occasion calls for something a little different. These quintessential cognac and brandy glasses are designed for the quality obsessed, ready to prepare your drinkware collection for any moment or celebration.
Heating your Cognac or Brandy Balloon Glass
The traditional way to drink cognac is a balloon snifter glasss in front of a roaring fireplace with your brandy in one hand, and your cigar in the other. Your pals all around in leather arm chairs and your trusty hunting dog at your feet. Although this nostalgic idea has a certain regal decadence to it, this isn’t exactly the most practical way to drink cognac and brandy. Enter the brandy warmer. This brandy balloon glass comes with a stand made of copper and brass that allows the drinker to warm each serving with a candle flame. The stand keeps the balloon far enough away from the fire to prevent burning your fingers on the glass, but just close enough to make that glass of Rémy Martin warm your cockles as it goes down.
Stemless Brandy & Cognac Glasses
Most people don’t realize it, but brandy is a distilled spirit, just like whiskey or vodka. Because of this, several styles of cocktail glasses can be appropriately used on occasion. For those in search of stemless brandy glasses, this tumbler is a stylish choice. It’s smaller than a balloon or snifter but offers comparable benefits with its rounded shape. The bubble detail in the base adds a polished look.
More Styles of Brandy Snifters
For centuries, we were very limited in the types of brandy and cognac glasses available to the public. They seemed to only come in one style, and the best glasses were available only to the crème de la crème. This is no longer the case, it’s a brave new world out there and people are enjoying Cognac and brandy more than ever, and from a wide variety of glass styles. Many of which can also be used to serve bourbons, scotches, and other spirits in addition to your favorite brandies and cognacs.
Small Brandy Glasses for Tastings of Fine Cognac
Fine cognacs can be borderline outrageously expensive. A tasting set with small glasses such as this allows you to serve small tastings of your favorite brandies and cognacs to your friends without coming off looking stingy, plus the carrying board frees up your other hand for a fine cigar or brandy glass of your own. Made in the timeless snifter shape, a natural wood paddle makes it simple to pour, carry, and serve your guests. For your tasting selection, try different levels of cognac, or brandy with several different origins. You might select spirits distilled from different types of fruit, and challenge your guests to see if they can decipher which is which.
Tulip Cognac Glass
A tulip cognac glass offers similar benefits to brandy balloons, but with sleek lines and cooler feel. The walls won’t envelop the aromas like a snifter, but a little swirl of the wrist after you pour will make the liquor open up quickly. This tulip glass is a fine option because it can be used for mixed drinks and craft beer, as well.
Cognac Glasses for the World Traveler
Traveling the world to try the best spirits from every country is out of reach for most of us, but you’ll certainly feel like a jet setter with this globe-shaped cognac glass set. Suitable for swirling, sipping, and gesturing grandly, these are some of the best cognac glasses you will find. Personally, I’d like to use them for a taste of Premiere Voyage, a blend geared at replicating cognac from 1715 and partially includes spirits that have been aging since the days of the American Civil War.
Crystal Cognac Glasses
Less formal occasions, say, a night watching Game of Thrones with the neighbors, you don’t need to bring out the finest. But you want to treat your guests (and yourself) to a little luxury. That’s why I love these crystal cognac glasses. Very reasonably priced for a set of six, they are designed with impeccable taste and also make excellent bourbon glasses.
Apple brandy is known as a prominent ingredient in cooking and party punches. However, fine brandies made from apple are delicious on their own. It’s a very American spirit as well, dating back to colonists who planted orchards and distilled apple cider. These vintage water glasses would make perfect brandy tumblers. I love the color of the glass and the embossed details.
Bronze Brandy Glasses
The brown and gold hues of fine cognac come from the oak barrels used in the aging process. These colors look even more beautiful when balanced against the bronze rim of these cool brandy drinking glasses. Remember, you don’t want to serve Courvoisier XO Impérial to your boss from these guys, but they are perfect for when your dad comes over to help you solve the world’s problems over a good, strong drink.