Brandy Tips


Looking for more in-depth information on Brandy? Click Here!

What is This Stuff?

Plenty of people drink brandy but, if pressed, very few could actually explain just what it is. In very simple terms, brandy is distilled wine (grape wine, apple wine, etc.). It was created with the simple goal of making wine easier to transport and preserve. Some also believe that brandy was created as a way for merchants to lessen the taxes on their goods, as those were assessed by volume and distillation helped them save money. Where the subject of brandy can really get complicated is the regions of production, which commonly parallel the great wine-producing regions of the world. 

The expert’s method for drinking brandy

·         Serve in a tulip-shaped Champagne flute.
·         Don’t inhale like wine because it will singe your nasal passages.
·         Dab the liquid on the back of your hand, let your body heat evaporate it and then smell.
·         Take a small sip and coat your tongue, cheeks and gums with the brandy.
·         Cradle the glass in your hand to gently warm the brandy and continue to sip it slowly.
·         The rise in temperature will release new aromas and expose new flavors over time.


·         …is brandy from the Cognac region of France.
·         …is distilled twice in a pot still.
·         …is most often designated non-vintage.
·         The most common Cognac grades are VS, VSOP and XO: Very Special/Superior, Very Special/Superior Old Pale and Extra Old.
·         Hennessy produces 40% of the world’s Cognac.


·         …is brandy from the Armagnac region of France.
·         …is distilled once in a mobile alembic.
·         …is normally of higher proof than Cognac.
·         …often features vintages on the labels.
·         Armagnac, generally speaking, uses the same grading system as Cognac.

Eau de vie

·         …translates from French to English as, “Water of life.”
·         …is colorless fruit brandy.
·         … is distilled twice.
·         The common flavors are pear, Williams pear, apple, peach and yellow plum.


·         …is apple brandy from Lower Normandy in France.
·         …is produced by fermenting apple cider.
·         …can be sweet, tart or bitter.
·         200 varieties of apples can be used to make calvados.
·         One apple used to make bitter calvados – the Binet Rouge – is actually inedible.


·         …is brandy produced in either Peru or Chile.
·         Peruvian pisco may be distilled only once.
·         Chilean pisco may be distilled multiple times.
·         Peruvian pisco may only touch stainless steel and glass and may never be diluted.
·         Chilean pisco is permitted to be diluted and aged in barrels.
·         Peru grades their pisco according to style, such as aromatic or type of blend.
·         Chile grades their pisco according to ABV.
·         The Pisco Sour is the national drink of both Chile and Peru.
·         Both Chile and Peru claim exclusive ownership of pisco.  

Looking for more in-depth information on Brandy? Click Here!