All about brandy
What all falls under the term brandy?
Brandy is the generic term for spirits made from a wine distillate. These include, for example, German brandy, Spanish brandy and also Armagnac and Cognac from France.
How can you recognise a good brandy?
There is no universal formula for this, in the end it is always a matter of taste. And of course the degree of maturity is important. With cognac, for example, there is the VS category, where it is stored for up to two years. This is followed by VSOP, which is aged for at least four years, and the top category, XO, which has to be matured in oak barrels for at least ten years.
At 1,400 euros per bottle, Torres del Mamut is one of the most expensive brandies in the world. How do such prices come about?
It has rested in oak barrels for over 30 years, is made from a very high-quality grape, the Spanish Parellada grape. And the supply is limited to a few barrels. But to give the all-clear here: In the price range between 25 and 40 euros, you can already find very good brandy offers in the shop.
What is meant by the term 'German brandy'?
While Cognac or Armagnac are subject to clear, strictly controlled regulations regarding the regions in which they can be produced and the grapes that can be used, German brandy is not so strictly regulated. In order to be called brandy, it must have at least 38 per cent, but there are no binding specifications for the selection of grapes.
Why is brandy becoming more and more popular?
Brandy has been in the shadow of gin and whisky for a long time. But now younger people are discovering how versatile brandy is, how many flavours there are, simply because of the many grape varieties it has as a base. Brandy definitely has as much potential as gin, and that is being discovered.
How do you prefer to drink your brandy?
There are classic brandy cocktails like the Side Car or Brandy Alexander, but I personally prefer to drink it neat in a swirling glass. That's stylish and allows it to develop its full aroma.