Grab the fast facts to one of France’s brandies, Armagnac, and learn how to pair the spirit.
Armagnac is a type of brandy made in the Gascony region of France. Made side-by-side with the winemakers of the region, we spoke to Armin Grassa, winemaker and distiller, of Chateau du Tariquet to learn more about the spirit. Chateau du Tariquet Armagnacs and wines come from one of the three official appellations, the Bas-Armagnac, which is considered to be the most prestigious terrior region.
There is a wide range of Armagnacs waiting to be tasted, from Blanche to a rich vintage that has been blended and aged in lightly-toasted wooden barrels.
Not just for after dinner
Brandies and Armagnacs do not just have to be after dinner sips. Instead, try a Blanche Armagnac for a fresh and flavorful start to a meal. It can also be paired with smoked seafood, caviar, and carpaccio. Or, it can be served between heavy courses as a palate cleanser. Try this bottle.
Other, aged in oak, Armagnacs are perfectly paired with game or grilled meats.
Warmer is sometimes better
An Armagnac that has been aged for many years and has deep, rich flavors does well when it is warmer. Make sure the bottle is at room temperature before serving. Once it has been poured into your glass, cup the glass with the palm of your hand to gently warm the spirit. This will allow that aromas to show themselves and enhance the drinking experience. However, other bottles are more enjoyable when they are slightly chilled. Do some research into your particular Armagnac before serving. No matter the temperature, Armagnac should be served in a thin-glassed snifter or wine glass to bring the aromas to your nose.
Treat it as a sauce
The next time you are enjoying a simple fruit dessert or ice cream, try pouring some Armagnac over top. Choose a spirit with a thicker body and flavor notes that will match the dessert. Try this bottle.
Pairing with cigars
There is a whole science behind pairing cigars and Armagnac. However, it all comes down to your preference. Armin recommends contrasting the flavors of the cigar and spirit rather than trying to match them. For example, sip a fruity Armagnac with a spicier cigar for beautiful balance. Try something similar to this bottle for a Honduran cigar like the Churchill Línea Puros.
Here are a couple fast facts to help you as you talk about what you are drinking.
Armagnac is the oldest brandy distilled in France and was originally consumed for healing purposes. So the next time you are feeling under the weather, kill your cold with a few sips of Armagnac.
When a bottle mentions ‘coupes’, it is referencing the art of blending the brandy. Selecting spirits from different barrels is how Armin creates a refined Armagnac bottle with unique style.
Mandatory family outings to the Detroit farmers' market and nightly home-cooked meals cultivated Annelise's respect and curiosity for food. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she spends her free time in New York City recipe testing, eating breakfast all day, and dreaming up international culinary adventures.