Cognac (one type of brandy) is a wonderful aromatic alcoholic drink having a strength of at least 40% and obtained from special grape varieties by fermentation and double distillation of juice, followed by aging of cognac alcohol for at least two years. Real cognacs are traditionally produced exclusively in France, in the region of Poitou-Charentes, where the city of Cognac, which gave the name to the drink, is located.
Cognac as an independent alcoholic product appeared only in the 17th century, when producers of wine distillate in Poitou-Charentes farms noticed that it significantly improves its properties while it is stored in barrels waiting to be sent to the buyer and during transportation, which at that time took considerable time. The very name “cognac” was legally established for brandy, produced in the corresponding region of France, only in 1939.
The drink receives its original bouquet with long-term aging in special oak barrels. In them, brandy over the years is getting better and better. It is believed that the maximum exposure time of alcohol should not exceed 70 years. With longer storage, it does not get worse, but more and does not improve their qualities.
Unfortunately, usually at home there is no way to keep brandy this way. Therefore, if you bought this elite and expensive alcohol, it makes no sense to keep it in the house for a long time in the hope of improving its organoleptic properties. A bottled drink will no longer acquire additional qualities, it will not become stronger and more fragrant. But it should be remembered that in the intact factory packaging cognac is capable of a very long, almost unlimited time to maintain an already acquired bouquet of taste. Nevertheless, real connoisseurs of quality cognacs do not drink in one evening, but relish for a few days, or even weeks. How to make it so that during this time alcohol does not lose those properties for which it is highly valued? To do this, follow only a few simple rules.
- Cognac does not tolerate too low or high temperatures. In no case do not put it in the refrigerator, as the cold kills the flavors and changes the composition, contributing to the precipitation. At high temperatures, the alcohol will evaporate intensively, and the result will be a completely different drink, since its strength will no longer meet the standards. The most optimal temperature for the preservation of brandy ranges from + 5 ° C to + 15 ° C.
- For better preservation of the bouquet and concentration of alcohol, already opened bottles should be kept tightly closed. If, after opening, you plan to keep the brandy for more than 2 months, fill the neck of the dishes with wax, as the air that has entered inside, reacting with the drink, will quickly worsen its taste. In this case, it would be better to pour the alcohol into a container smaller in volume, so that the air turned out to be as small as possible.
- Tanks with brandy should always be placed strictly vertically. This is necessary so that the drink does not in any way come into contact with the cork, since alcohol has one feature - it absorbs any odors well. It is this ability that helps to get a fragrant drink, but it can also make it disgusting, additionally “enriching” with a completely extra cork smell.
- Another indispensable requirement for the proper storage of cognac is the complete absence of solar lighting, which extremely negatively affects the bouquet of the drink. After all, this is why expensive alcohol is sold in special containers or, in extreme cases, in dark glass bottles.
Is it possible for brandy to be spoiled? In the direct sense of the word, of course not. But if you do not comply with all of the above conditions when storing an already open bottle, then after 3-4 months you will receive an incomprehensible alcohol that does not resemble that noble strong drink with an exquisite taste and a delicate bouquet of smells, which is called the word “brandy”.