Dining General

TO GOOD FORTUNE AND FINE SPIRITS

GOOD FOOD AND GOOD LIQUOR. The Year of the Dog, for many, began with these steadfast companions of merrymaking.

While yam seng may be uttered with even a glass of orange juice, fine wine or spirits make the occasion so much more exclusive.

The House of Rémy Martin has, for more than 290 years, lit the palate of the discerning drinker. Known for producing some of the best cognacs in the world, Rémy Martin’s story begins in 1724.

The King of France at this time was 14-year-old Louis XV, who came to be known as Louis the Beloved. Away in the small medieval French town of Cognac on the banks of the river Charente , a young wine grower called Rémy Martin began selling cognac under his own name. Just 14 years later, in 1738, his product had already gained a name for itself, and the king granted Remy the rare right to plant new vines in recognition of the quality of his cognacs.

Paul-Émile Rémy Martin was also an avid astronomer.

The House prospered and in 1830, the first Rémy Martin Grande Champagne cognac was created.At this time Rémy Martin’s grandson, Paul-Emile, began broadening his vision for the establishment and his skills and entrepreneurship took the House and its cognacs beyond Europe into the United States, Asia, and the Pacific. And thus the House of Rémy Martin, in regions beyond France, became synonymous with good taste and luxury.The emblem of the Centaur corresponds to the star sign of Paul-Emile, viz. the sign of Sagittarius.The town of Cognac today on the banks of the River Charente.

What is a cognac?

The name cognac itself, strictly speaking, refers to the grapes grown in the region of Cognac and the use of the appellation is protected by French laws. Its use must be compliant with several requirements, among them, that a cognac be made from specific grape varieties, such as the Ugni Blanc; it must be twice distilled in copper pot stills; and aged in oak barrels for at least two years.To produce a bottle of Remy Martin cognac, only grapes of the highest quality of the Champagne and Petite Champagne are picked. The exceptionally chalky soil in the area,which retains water and reflects light, ripens the grapes to perfection.

Enjoying a cognac

A Rémy Martin cognac can be savoured in several ways:

  • Neat, as an aperitif
  • Slightly diluted with a dash of water or two ice cubes. Note the release of various aromas as the cognac becomes less intense
  • Mixed with tonic water or ginger ale for a refreshing and quenching drink
  • Frozen, for a viscous texture to be complemented with seafood

How to read a cognac label

Feeling confused over those letters on the label? Here’s what it means :

  • VS (Very Special) : Aged for at least 2 years
  • VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) : Aged for at least 4 years
  • XO (Extra Old) : Aged for at least 6 years
  • Hors d’age (Beyond Age) : Aged beyond official age scale

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