National Cognac Day Date in the current year: June 4, 2024

National Cognac Day National Cognac Day is celebrated annually on June 4 in honor of arguably the most famous kind of brandy. It is the perfect occasion to relax, sit back and enjoy a glass or two of delicious cognac in a good company.

Cognac is a variety of grape brandy produced in the wine producing region surrounding the French commune of Cognac. Due to having AOC status (appellation d’origine contrôlée, “controlled designation of origin”), it must meet a number of requirements in addition to the region of production.

Cognac must me produced from very dry and acidic white wine made from specified grape varieties, twice distilled using traditionally shaped copper alembic pot stills, and aged at least two years in Limousin oak barrels. The most widely used among the specified grape varieties is Trebbiano, known in France as Ugni blanc or St. Émilion.

It is generally considered that the longer the cognac has aged, the higher the quality. Depending on its age, cognac is assigned one of the following quality grades:

  • V. S. (Very Special) or three stars — minimum two years
  • V. S. O. P. (Very Superior Old Pale)/Reserve — minimum 4 years
  • Napoléon — minimum six years
  • XO (Extra Old) — minimum 10 years (minimum 6 years prior to 2018)
  • XXO (Extra Extra Old) — minimum 14 years
  • Hors d’âge (Beyond Age) — high-quality cognacs beyond the official age scale

If a cognac is blended, its age is determined by the youngest brandy in the blend.

There are approximately 200 cognac producers. All of them produce cognac in France because of the drink’s AOC status, but there is no rule saying that a cognac house must owned by a French citizen. Most cognac sold in the United States comes from only four cognac houses: Courvoisier (founded in 1835), Hennessy (founded in 1765), Martell (founded in 1715), and Rémy Martin (founded in 1724).

Other major cognac houses include Bache-Gabrielsen (founded in 1905), Braastad (founded in 1875), Camus Cognac (founded in 1863), Delamain (founded in 1824), Frapin (founded in 1270 as a winery), Hine (founded in 1763), Moyet (founded in 1864), Otard (founded in 1795), Meukow (founded in 1862), Pierre Ferrand (founded in 1702), and Camus (founded in 1863).

Cognac is usually drunk neat, at room temperature from a special glass known as a snifter, a brandy glass, or a cognac glass. A snifter has a wide bottom and a narrow top; such shape allows to trap the aroma of the drink inside the glass. Cognac pairs well with cheese, seafood, game meats, and chocolate.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate National Cognac Day. You can enjoy a glass of cognac or a cognac-based cocktail such as Alexander, Between the Sheets, French Connection, Sazerac, Sidecar or Stinger; attend a cognac tasting if there is one available in your area; splurge for a bottle of expensive cognac; buy a nice set of snifters; and, of course, promote the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalCognacDay.

National Cognac Day in the United States should not be confused with the birthday of cognac. The latter falls on April 1 and marks the day when the cognac aging countdown starts.

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National Cognac Day, food and drink days, holidays in the United States, unofficial holidays, cognac