National Cognac Day
National Cognac Day is observed next on Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 (180 days from today).
National Cognac Day is a wonderful chance to celebrate one of the finest alcoholic drinks on the 4th of June every year.
While there are many forms of distilled spirits, some of the more distinctive ones seem to have distinct nobility to them. Somehow, they can claim a bit of culture and social grandeur that only other alcoholic beverages can't.
When most people think of beer, the ideas that come to their mind are usually cheap bars and backyard BBQs. With alcohol, the themes can be similar but are generally of a higher social class.
However, when a person gets into a conversation and one mentions Bourbon, Scotch or Cognac, suddenly one will immediately think of the deep reds of mahogany furniture and famous gentlemen in studies or inns high-class. In the minds of many, cognac is increasingly an improvement over the grape that is simply fermented, distilled and cultivated to its final form.
National Cognac Day is dedicated to this rich beverage, and is perhaps the most outstanding of them all!
History of National Cognac Day
Cognac's origins date back to the 16th century. Dutch settlers came to Cognac, a region of France, to buy wood, wine and salt. However, a problem occurred when exporting wine to the country. The method of storage must be suitable for the length of the journey as well as the time of sale and subsequent consumption. Seeing this, the settlers began to preserve the wine by distilling it with eau-de-vie. While this method worked, the settlers realized that distilling it twice would produce a much better and tastier product. So brandy was invented.
While spirits are produced worldwide, only spirits originating from six designated regions of France can be called cognac. The Cognac region itself consists of two different regions in Western France - one is Charente-Maritime and the other is Charente. The six zones are divided by quality and aging potential. There are certain laws and measures that must be followed for a spirit to be labeled as cognac, and all of those rules are controlled by the Office of the National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC). First and foremost, only specific grapes are used to make cognac, and one of the most common grapes used is called Ugni Blanc. Once the wine is made, it must be distilled in an 'alambic charentais', essentially a copper pot with a boiler and serpentine condenser tubes. After that, the cognac must be fermented and stored in special French oak barrels for at least 30 months, although many wineries have aged the cognac for more than 30 months. The longer the cognac ferments the more complexity and flavor it develops. Cognac's age is determined through an informal grading system - for example VS (Very Special) aged for at least two years in oak, or Napoleon or XO (Older) aged for at least 10 years in oak.
Why National Cognac Day?
Everyone can agree that winemaking is an art and not all wines have the same taste and aroma. While Cognac is the best form of spirit, which is a distilled version of alcohol, there's a lot of history behind the production that you can learn about. Studying cognac will give you more insight into the day and why it is such a special day in history. Not only history but science is equally interesting about this popular drink.
Historically, spirits were invented unnecessarily when alcohol was distilled by accident. You can agree that it is one of the most loved and delicious drinks of all time. With over 200 cognacs, you can choose your brand and flavor and celebrate this day every year.
Interesting facts about National Cognac Day
- The grapes used to make cognac must be of a specific type. More than 95% of Cognac is made with Ugni Blanc. Distillers are required to age the wine for two years and in French oak barrels for proper flavour. Of course, it can be aged longer than this allotted time for a better taste, which is something many distillers do as well.
- The grape used to make Cognac; Ugni Blanc originates from Tuscany, Italy. This grape is known as Trebbiano Toscano in Italy.
- There are more than 200 different types of cognac to choose from, but there are four main producers that supply cognac to the whole country.
- While Ugni Blanc is the grape used to make cognac, along with other wines such as Armagnac, the grape is not on the prestigious list of grapes. It is one of the least prestigious but most popular in the production of cognac and other spirits.
- The characteristic of this particular grape variety is its persistence to keep acidity high and it also offers the highest yield compared to other grape varieties. This is another reason why this grape is preferred for cognac production, and winemaking with any other wine is not considered cognac.
- Another factor that makes Ugni Blanc beneficial is the shape of these grapes, a cluster shape that allows air to circulate minimizing the possibility of rot. It ensures that you have more fruit to reap.
Why we love National Cognac Day
- It's a celebration of history
The rich history reveals many interesting lessons and anecdotes. In addition to the obvious wine elements associated with the date, there are fascinating details about immigration, export/import, and the science behind the changing tastes of the drink.
- It's a celebration of the winemaking process
It is an art in itself. The variety of steps and the strict adherence create delicious drinks for us to enjoy. Wine making is a process and learning about it makes for an enjoyable experience.
- It's a celebration of invention
Brandy was invented out of sheer necessity that the situation demanded. 'Necessity is the mother of all inventions' is a correct phrase in the case of the invention of cognac.
How to celebrate National Cognac Day
- Drink some cognac
If you're looking for a sign to enjoy some good wine, this is it. Take out or buy a bottle of that cognac and enjoy one of the finer things in life.
- Drink cognac with other people
Be it your family, your friends or the strangers next to you at the bar, enjoying a cognac or two with them. Start some conversation about drinks and/or your life and hobbies. It will make for a good time for all involved.
- Research on cognac
You may appreciate this drink for its complex aroma and taste, but do you know the history attached to it? Find out how the drink came to be by surfing the web or visiting a cognac production website. How about talking to the experts to get more knowledge about the finer details of the drink?
ObservedNational Cognac Day has been observed annually on June 4th.
Saturday, June 4th, 2022
Sunday, June 4th, 2023
Tuesday, June 4th, 2024
Wednesday, June 4th, 2025
Thursday, June 4th, 2026