Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire

storehouseEven through the economic downturn in recent years, luxury goods held their own and often prospered. Recently on the French news, they featured the many skilled craftsmen and women of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. The initials stand for Louis Vuitton Moët and Hennessy. I’ll start with the end of the list – Hennessy.

Hennessy 2Founded in 1765, before the United States and a century before Canada, the cognac manufacturer is aptly located in the town of Cognac, near Angoulême in western France. Since then, it has secured a place as the premium producer, selling 50 million bottles a year. For seven generations, the Fillioux family have acted as cellar masters, overseeing all aspects of the production. That’s the current cellar master, Yann Fillioux, above. While I’ve never had cognac, I admire Hennessy’s commitment to quality.

Nothing is overlooked. They even make their own oak barrels in the traditional way. When they’re placed in the storeroom, the name Hennessy is carefully written in chalk in calligraphy on the barrel. Each day, samples are taken to the master blender and his team. They test 50 cognacs daily (they don’t swallow) at precisely the same hour.”Young” members of the committee sample and listen for ten years before they are allowed to express an opinion. Like developing a fine cognac, experience cannot be rushed.

Hennessy barrelAs you would imagine, French has plenty of expressions that involve wine, such as: Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire (kohn luh vahn eh tearay, eel foe luh bwarh). Literally, it means “When the wine is drawn, it must be drunk.” The closest English equivalent of the sentiment is “As you made your bed, so you must lie in it.” There are plenty of samples of cognac drawn at Hennessy each day, but the drinking of it goes on elsewhere. It takes a clear head to create the world’s finest cognac.

61dhcCsfKlL__SL75_The Taste of Luxury: Bernard Arnault and the Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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One Response to Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire

  1. Pingback: Fait sur mesure | One quality, the finest.

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