Let’s play a little blog trivia.
Q1: In what country is the product cognac produced?
A: France – Cognac, France
Q2: What country is the world leading consumer of cognac?
A: The USA, by a significant margin!
I would personally like to give a shout out to the hip hop community back in The States. Your mass consumption of the “yak” in rap videos and strip clubs has single-handedly kept Cognac, France on the map. Without you this trip would not have been possible.
The trip began with yet another three-day weekend to burn. And since no self-respecting long weekend should be spent in Paris…David, Wes, and I headed down south for some hip-hop fun of our own.
The first stop along the way was La Rochelle and the Ile de Re’. A beautiful spot on the Bay of Biscay just off the Atlantic Ocean.
The next stop on the trip was Rochefort, where they are recreating an old French frigate called L’Hermione. The original ship set sail from France in 1780 bound for America to aid in the Revolutionary war against Great Britain. They are building the ship in the original dry dock using original tools and methods. Interesting stuff for my fellow nerds out there.
Finally, we made it down to Cognac to taste the Eau de Vie (water of life). Our first distillery was Baron Otard–a large, famous, and expensive company known worldwide. While not as famous as Hennessy and Remy Martin, Otard spends big money on advertising and the price of the bottle showed it.
The next stop was the house of Guillon-Painturaud, a small, intimate place that paled in size compared to Otard but was much easier on the wallet. For example, a bottle of XO cognac (aged more than 25 years) at Otard would easily cost you $150. Ouch! The same product at G.P. was $60 and twice as smooth! Besides, our new friends at GP let us try EVERY product on the menu for free…while the cheapos at Otard charged us $12 for the tour and we only got to taste two low-end cognacs!
…the post wouldn’t be complete without Bon Ap!