Cognac is a brandy produced from white grapes which are grown in the strictly defined region of Cognac, France, and six growing areas surrounding the town. This alcohol beverage has been known for centuries. Since I have been in restaurant business more than five years, I have learned a lot about this spirit. In order to have a cognac label the spirit must satisfy strictly rules which were set by French government in 1909. The wine must be made of the strictly grapes, then it has to go thru double distillations, and after that it must stay in an oak cask for at least two and a half years, and it must be eighty proof. Only the spirit which meets all these requirements entitled to have a name cognac. Then we can divide it into groups. The most common categories for cognac are VS, VSOP, and XO. Knowing them will help to choose a right spirit for you and for your loved ones.
The first category is VS (very special). This cognac is at least two and half years old. Usually it has light-straw color, and it doesn’t have a lot of tannin. Therefore, you can moderately enjoy this spirit in the evening and don’t have problems with blood pressure in the following day. Plus, it is less expensive cognac. A bottle of that category would cost you about thirty dollars, and about seven dollars for a cognac glass (snifter) in a bar, so it won’t harm your wallet. Therefore, it is a perfect spirit for a limit budget and for parties when people drink a lot.
The second category is VSOP (very superior old pale or reserve). The youngest cognac of this category is at least four and a half years old. This cognac has straw-yellow color. Since this spirit spends at least four and a half years in oak cask it absorbs a lot of tannin. Therefore, you have to be careful when you drink it because even not a large amount of this cognac can cause high blood pressure, and a headache. Plus, it is not inexpensive beverage, for a bottle you would pay at least forty...