Who is cognac?
Cognac is that person you go on a date with who whispers,
“I’m not like all the others, you know—I’m complex.”
Intriguing. Bold. And yes. Very complicated in taste. Many think Cognac is difficult to pair with most foods—that she demands to be savored all by herself, with our palate’s full and undivided attention.
But there’s a side to cognac you haven’t seen yet. A friendlier side.
Cognac, with her balance of fruit and acidity is much easier to pair with foods than you’d think.
So what is the secret to pairing cognac and food? Temper Cognac’s boldness, and soften the taste of the alcohol. This helps cognac play well with others—and even be supportive to bringing out a variety of food flavors.
In honor of National Cognac Day, we present a go-to guide for Cognac and food pairings.
1) Chocolate: For a lighter-bodied Cognac, creamier and softer chocolates are best. For the aged and bolder Cognacs—intense-flavored chocolates like a dark chocolate to his a delectable balance.
White chocolate & Cognac Frozen VS
Crunchy hazelnut praline / Cognac VS
Dark chocolate covered fruits / Cognac VSOP (Armagnac De Montal)
Dark chocolate / Cognac XO
2) Cheese: Pairing cheese and Cognac garners fantastic results. Fresh and lighter cheeses pair with younger cognacs. Mature cheeses with older cognacs.
VS COGNAC (aged at a min. of 2 years)
Milder edam. Young Goudas. Mild to medium cheddars. Brie. And milder blues like Gorgonzola.
A more complex style with a palate of nuts and dried fruit. Pair this cognac with with Mimolette. Mature Camembert, Emmental or Manchego. Also other mature and crumbly cheeses like Parmesan, or an aged Gouda.
This is a popular food pairing for cognac. Try a smoked duck or a foie gras. The rich and fatty texture of duck meat allows for a sumptuous round, velvety texture with Cognac.
Martell V.S.O.P, or Remy V.S.O.P.
4:) Glazed Pork or Sweeter Pork Belly
Try a pork with a glazed honey sauce, and you’ll have delectable results when paired with a Cognac like Rémy Martin 1738
Yep. You may not believe it, but Sushi and sashimi play very nicely with Cognac’s balance of acidity and fruitiness. Try Martell Cordon Bleu to bring out the soft flavors of the sushi.
Pair buttery, sautéed mushrooms with lighter, and younger cognacs. Recommended: Hennessy XO.
Now you’re ready Celebrate National Cognac Day! For more Cognac and food pairing recommendations, ask the experts at your local Spec’s.