I’m veering off topic today (but only slightly!) to talk about Brandy, which is more often than not- fortified wine. I want to keep this post pretty short and simple and just go over some basic knowledge with you!
How it’s made: Brandy is made when you distill wine or fruit. Distilling is basically when you vaporize and subsequently condense a liquid, making it more pure and concentrated. The alcohol content will be significantly higher and the flavor much stronger. You could think of it as very very concentrated and intensified wine.
How to hold: Brandy glasses look different from wine glasses in that the stem is much shorter. These glasses are meant to be held by the bowl. I blogged about wine glasses and there shapes here. Remember, with wine, you always want to hold it by the stem because you don’t want the body heat from your hand warming up the liquid; the opposite is true with brandy… you DO want the liquid to be warmed by the heat from your hand, which is why you DO hold this one by the bowl. The proper way to hold this glass is with the stem in between your middle and ring finger and the bowl cupped in your palm.
How to sniff: Brandy also differs from wine in the ‘sniffing’ department! With wine, you really want to get your nose down in the bowl and get a good whiff of it. With brandy, you want to hold it about at your chest and away from your body 5 ish inches and smell from there. These aromas are very powerful and you’d about get knocked down if you stuck your nose in the bowl!
How to store: Brandy can be kept in it’s original bottle, or you can put it in a glass or crystal decanter for several months. You should be aware that if you leave it in there too long with out ever drinking or opening it, it may become close to impossible to get the top back off without breaking the bottle! (Which is a great excuse to bust into the brandy every few weeks!)
With cigars: Brandy and cigars is a pretty classic pairing. I think of men in England in the 20’s who would go in the ‘Drawing room’ with a drink and cigar in hand to discuss politics and current events (thank you, Downton Abbey)! These days, that’s not exactly accurate, but brandy and cigars is still a very common pairing 🙂
(And yes, I totally smoked that cigar for the picture 🙂 )
I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe learned something! I’ll be back to my usual wine ramblings next week! I’m doing a garden wine craft!! Stay tuned 🙂