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Expert Guide: How to Properly Store and Age Your Cognac


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HomeHow to Drink CognacExpert Guide: How to Properly Store and Age Your Cognac

Cognac is a type of brandy that is widely popular around the world. It is made from distilled white wine, and then aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Cognac can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in cocktails, and it is important to store it properly to ensure that it retains its flavor and quality over time. Let’s discuss how to store cognac and for how long.

Cognac and Decanter
Cognac and Decanter

The first thing to consider when storing cognac is the type of bottle it comes in. Cognac should always be stored in a glass bottle that is sealed with a cork stopper. Ensure the cork has a good seal on the bottle. If you wish you can transfer the cognac to a glass decanter but keeping it in its original bottle is most frequently done.

The ideal temperature for storing cognac is between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius (59-68 degrees Fahrenheit). Cognac should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as radiators or ovens, as this can cause the liquid to expand and contract, which can damage the bottle and affect the taste of the cognac. It is also important to keep cognac away from strong odors, such as those from spices or perfumes, as the liquid can absorb these odors and affect the flavor.

The age of cognac is measured in years, and each age category has its own name. For example, cognac aged for two to three years is called VS (Very Special), while cognac aged for at least four years is called VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale). Cognac aged for at least six years is called XO (Extra Old), and cognac aged for at least 10 years is called Hors d’Age (Beyond Age). The longer cognac is aged, the smoother and more complex its flavor becomes. Once the cognac is blended and sealed in a glass bottle the congnac will stop its aging process. This ensures the expert blending done by the cognac house will retain the state it was in when bottled.

It is important to note that once a bottle of cognac is opened, it will begin to very slightly oxidize and its flavor will start to have infinitesimal change not likely to be noticed. This process can be slowed down by storing the bottle in a cool, dark place and sealing it tightly after each use. To extend the shelf life of an open bottle of very expensive cognac, consider transferring it to a smaller bottle that is filled to the brim, which will minimize the amount of air in the bottle.

Cognac is a delicate spirit that should be stored carefully to ensure that it retains its flavor and quality over time. To store cognac properly, it should be kept in a glass bottle with a cork stopper, and kept away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and strong odors to retain its smoother and more complex flavor. Store it in its original bottle or a glass decanter.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy a delicious glass of cognac for years to come.

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