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post #832
bio: rich

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Travel: Let's Go Cognac (During the Big Freeze of 2012)

What a week. Friday (which was my birthday (and’s birthday) I flew back from a week in the Cognac region in France. It was a grand time apart from two annoying elements:
(1) It was cold. Really really really super cold. Negative numbers.
(2) Insomina? I slept horribly. Well, that’s not really true. When I slept, I slept fine. It was the falling asleep. Not sure what to chalk it up to - but there could have been a dozen of reasons.

I arrived in France last Sunday and was all wonky from trying to sleep on the flight over. Slept OK on Monday night but after that it was just crappy sleeping that pinnacled with about four hours on Wednesday and then four hours on Thursday night followed by having to wake up at 4:45am to get ready for a flight. And then traveling all day.

What the heck is Cognac?
I find that not a lot of people know what cognac is - in terms of the liquid in the glass that I just poured you.
First, there is brandy. Brandy is a distilled spirit made from fruit. Any fruit. Grapes, apples (like Calvados), peaches, blackberries... whatever.

Cognac is a brandy that is made from grapes and within the geographic lines of the Cognac region. Not only is cognac made within the region of Cognac, but there are tons of other regulations that you have to follow such as the type of grape, the amount of ageing, and how it’s distilled. Basically, you couldn't just buy some juice and distill it and call it cognac.

I’ll push it on you
I’ve become a big fan of the “XO” cognacs. These are the ones with a bit more age and complexity and I really believe that they can hold their own against scotch whiskey.

Oh my. It was a fine trip.
Here are some photos!

Lunch at the Hennessy Distillery
Lunchtime at the Distillery

My little vine
We had to prune the little sleepy winter vines. The professional pruners (!) can do a vine in about 90 seconds. It took me much longer.

Party time in Cognac
Cognac: Sleepy town.

Hennessy Cat
This is the cat that lives at Hennessy. Someone in the office leaves him food and milk.

Olde Towne Cognac
No, really. The town of Cognac is sleepy.

Dinner: lost count. Monkfish with pork.
Monkfish wrapped in bacon. This was pretty tasty.

9:45am - Time to taste the cognac
Oh, and we tasted a lot of cognac.

Tremendous Dinner
The last night we had an astounding dinner at Chateau de Bagnolet. And then we stayed the night in the chateau. Tragically, I spent only about five hours in the room as the dinner was late and I had to wake up early for a 6am pickup to the airport. Here is the whole set of photos on FLICKR!

I am super jealous.
»k ||  2/6/2012 ||  9:11:59 AM
»pony ||  2/7/2012 ||  1:03:52 PM

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