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Brandy is a spirit made from fruit juice or fruit pulp and skin. Brandy, like rum and tequila, is an agricultural spirit. Unlike grain spirits such as whisky, vodka, and gin, which are made throughout the year from grain that can be harvested and stored, brandy is dependent on the seasons, the ripening of the base fruit, and the production of the wine from which it is made. The primary grapes used in making Cognac are Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, and Colombard. The wines made from these grapes are thin, tart, and low in alcohol; poor characteristics for table wines, but oddly enough, perfect for making the specialty wine brandy. Brandy is broken down into three basic groupings: Grape Brandy: brandy distilled from fermented grape juice or crushed but not pressed grape pulp and skin. Pomace brandy (Italian Grappa and French Marc are the best-known examples): brandy made from the pressed grape pulp, skins, and stems that remain after the grapes are crushed and pressed to extract most of the juice for wine. Fruit brandy: is the default term for all brandies that are made from fermenting fruit other than grapes. Cognac is the best known type of brandy in the world and is a benchmark by which most other brandies are judged.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|