Barrels of fun in the land of brandy
Interesting article by MARK JONES. Chateau de L’Yeuse, a fine 19th-century house in the heart of Cognac, has a glass display cabinet showcasing some of the region‘s best produce – slippers.
That’s right: slippers. Proper red and black check, comfy things, called pontoufles charentaises.
The quality of slipper craftsmanship is a source of great local pride. It is a bit like going to the Louis Vuitton HQ and finding an old rucksack given pride of place in the lobby…
Next door in the bar, there are more than 160 bottles of the other local product.
Cognac is a type of brandy in the way that champagne is a type of sparkling wine and Melton Mowbray is one type of pork pie.
It is the best; and only the drink made in six specified areas (terroirs) in western France can be called cognac.
I cheekily ask if I can have a single malt. The manager says they do have a bottle of that stuff ‘somewhere’. It’s amazing how low-grade and sleazy the word ‘whisky’ can sound in the mouth of a true-born Cognac man.
I thought the only people interested in touring Cognac would be portly gentlemen of a certain age and slipper collectors. I was wrong, as my visit to the Meukow distillery proved.