Tuesday 04 July 2019. Highlight the date in your diary and add an annual repeating alert, because—drum roll please—It’s National Cognac Day.
Now, we’re not quite at the stage where the government has deemed to make this hallowed day a national holiday (but, hey, we’re keeping our fingers crossed). However, it’s certainly a great choice for luxuriating in our favorite drink.
The Cognac day celebration has been a “thing” since the first one occurred on Sunday 04 June 2000. Since then each year has seen the US show appreciation for what is arguably one of France’s most iconic exports. And long may the tradition continue, that’s what we say.
Why does National Cognac Day exist?
Well, despite our intense digging, we can’t find a reason as to exactly why the day came into being. It could be simply a marketing ploy, or perhaps some dedicated aficionado decided it was time that eau-de-vie had its own special revolution around the sun. After all, truffles have their own special day (May 02), as do pumpkin seeds (the first Wednesday in October), and Prosecco (August 13), so why not Cognac?
But have you ever wondered exactly how a day gets proclaimed as a “National Day”? Well, we can shed some light on that, just in case it’s one of those thoughts that ricochets around your head when you can’t sleep at night.
Chase’s Calendar of Events is the unofficial guardian of all of the USA’s national days. This ever-lengthening book of words was started in 1957 by two brothers, Bill and Harrison Chase. These guys decided that there was a need for a single reference source for such dates. It was originally designed to include holidays, special events, historic anniversaries, and state events.
The first book published was 32 pages in length and contained 364 entries. Today it contains over 12,000 entries.
To get something allocated its own official day someone needs to submit for it to be included in Chase’s diary. But in the case of National Cognac Day, we’ve so far been unable to find out who carried out the actual deed.
But hoorah to whoever did. We salute you, Sir (or Madame).
Another reference for the many national days is the National Holiday Calendar, which also lists the annually occurring dates.
Cognac Day Celebration videos
Of course, some of the world’s best-loved Cognac houses have embraced National Cognac Day. From You Tube videos to promotional events, brands from the gargantuan Hennessy to the smallest of craft brands are getting in on the act.
“How We Hennessy” was the Cognac giant’s video of last year. And we’re sure they’ll be adding something new for 2019.
In fact, wherever you look people are celebrating the revered Day of Cognac in their own way. Check out this guy’s video as he extols the virtues of Courvoisier’s Napoleon.
And here’s a group of clubbers sharing their love of D’Usse Cognac — the absolute epitome of the relationship between hip hop and “brown”. (N.B. Explicit lyrics and bikini-clad girls shaking their booty…!)
Cognac Expert’s recommendations for sipping on this unique day
OK, so of course you can nip out to the local liquor store and pick up a bottle of oh-so-normal Cognac. But being as we know our wonderful global fan base have ever so slightly more discerning tastes, we’ve put together a list of five of what we think are some of the best Cognacs for Cognac Day.
And as we’ve sure you’ve come to expect, they come courtesy of our own personal taste tests, and combine a pure unadulterated taste-fest with great bang for your buck.
1. Sophie & Max Sélection N° 2 Cognac: Limited Edition
OK, so we’re allowed to blow our own trumpet. Because, all self-promotion aside, Sophie & Max Sélection N°2 really is a very good Cognac indeed. And the only place you can get it is from Cognac Expert. And you don’t just have to take our word for it. The reviews that people have posted are extremely complimentary. From “poetry in a bottle” to “well blended and crafted”, it seems that our second limited edition certainly hits the spot for those who know their Cognac.
This hors d’age is one of our favorites from this highly respected Cognac house. As with all of AE Dor’s Cognac, the Vieille Réserve No 7 comes in a simplistic bottle, because it really doesn’t need any bling to pimp it up—the amber nectar itself does all the talking necessary.
3. Chateau de Montifaud XO Cognac
Light and smooth, the Chateau de Montifaud XO is the epitome of a great Petite Champagne eau-de-vie. Aged for between 28-30 years, this slightly nutty Cognac really does showcase how, if you make the right taste choices, you can enjoy a light, slightly nutty, yet rounded taste sensation. We’d go as far as to say this has a somewhat feminine profile, and will appeal to those who like their Cognac to have delicate finesse.
And note the price tag! We’re constantly flabbergasted that such an outstanding Cognac can come at such a small dent to your credit card.
4. Audry XO Cognac
The house of Audry Cognac really is our find of 2019. And the delicious Audry XO is a great introduction if you’ve not yet had the pleasure. Elegant, bitter-sweet, balanced… This Cognac is one that needs to be tasted to be believed. And once again, the cost per bottle is less than that of a meal out for two at an average restaurant. If ever there was a reason that National Cognac Day exists, then surely it’s to open up your repertoire to Cognacs that you pretty much can’t purchase outside of France. We promise, you won’t be disappointed with this delightful Fine Champagne XO.
5. Gautier Extra 1755 Cognac
The spicy Gautier Extra 1755 is a wonderful Cognac to raise on this special day. With its decanter-esque bottle, this multi-gold medal award winner was created to commemorate the founder of the house, Louis Gautier in, you’ve guessed it, 1755. And it’s certainly fits the bill, because this is one Cognac that’ll delight even the most fastidious of palates.
So there you have it. Our list of the Top 5 Cognacs to drink on National Cognac Day. We’d love to see your images of what you’re drinking on this special day. Leave a comment below, post on our Facebook page, or hit us up on Twitter or Instagram.
Whether you drink yours neat, on the rocks, icy cold from the freezer, in a cocktail, or mixed with bubbles, have a great National Cognac Day. We’ll be thinking of you. Cheers…