First of all, I think we should start by clarifying exactly what cognac is... Cognac is essentially a brandy from the region of Charentes - starting life as a French white wine which is then distilled and aged in oak barrels for at least 2 years.
There's lots of different grades of Cognac, from V.S. (Very Special) right up to XO (Extra Old) - of which the quality is typically very closely related to the length of time the brandy has been aged for. The higher the age of the drink usually means it's of a higher quality and has a much more complex taste.
In the video above Matt White meets up with Cognac expert Noé Tesseron on the cigar garden at the newly opened Dakota Hotel. Noé is part of the family-run company, Tesseron, who have been producing Cognac for an extraordinary 4 generations and therefore he's a true expert on everything about the stuff.
Being a Cognac novice, Matt learnt exactly how to drink it properly when being served it straight, applied with mixer and when paired with food. All vital lessons if you want to fully appreciate the flavours, aromas, and tastes of this rather impressive spirit.
You can purchase Tesseron Cognac from Aston's of Manchester in the Royal Exchange Arcade. When you quote “Manchester’s Finest” you will receive a 10% discount off all Tesseron purchases until the end of August 2019.