Average Price of 750ml bottle, ex-tax in USD: $67
Brandy is the name used for a wide range of potable spirits, made mostly from grape wines but sometimes also from other fruits (for fruit brandies see Eaux-de-Vie). The name brandy is a shortened form of brandywine, which an anglicized form of Dutch brandewijn, which means 'burnt wine'.
This is precisely what brandy is. To make brandy, wine is heated in a still until it separates into its components, which evaporate at various points on the temperature scale. The more volatile the component, the lower the temperature at which it evaporates, leaving behind the impurities and heavier compounds. This is the process used to turn wine into brandy.... more
Armagnac is a highly aromatic brandy from the Gascony region of far south-western France. Armagnac was France's first brandy and is said to date back more than 700 years, to the early 15th Century. If accurate, this makes Armagnac the oldest distilled spirit produced anywhere in Europe.
Despite its long history, Armagnac is often confused with (and compared with) its more famous cousin Cognac. On the surface the two are really very similar: they are both wine-based spirits (eaux-de-vie de vin) from south-western France, produced in essentially the same way and from similar grape varieties. But there are subtle, vital differences between the two, which are the source of great regional pride.... more
France is arguably the world's most important wine-producing country. For centuries, it has produced wine in greater quantity – and of reportedly greater quality – than any other nation. Wine is ingrained in French culture at almost every level of society; it is the drink of both the elite and the common people, and a key symbol in Roman Catholicism, France's majority religion.... more
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