When one hears the word cognac, it often brings to mind images of sophisticated drawing rooms, exquisitely designed dining areas, or luxurious views – where royalty and the distinguished gather and celebrate.
Cognac is a type of brandy that’s exclusively produced in the region of Cognac in Western France. They are aged for a minimum of 2 years in French oak barrels and have an alcohol content of 40 percent. Drink it with caution if your alcohol tolerance is low.
Martell takes pride in being the oldest of the great Cognac houses. It has 300 years of passion and precision passed down through the Martell family. From generation to generation, a celebration of French Art de Vivre, treasuring the beauty and pleasure of every moment. It has truly a rich history of honouring craft and taste, with it being part of some momentous moments from regal coronations to Hollywood films, intrepid polar expeditions to royal weddings, and far beyond.
Place, precision and time. The three great axes of Martell craftsmanship; an expertise and emotion passed from hand to hand since 1715.
I was honored to be one of the guests for Martell’s Luxury Tasting at the Raffles Salon. Brand ambassador Pierre Boyer gave us a brief history of Martell and graciously shared some of their best-kept secrets on how they have been creating the finest cognac in the world for over three centuries.
We were served a sophisticated three-course meal by Raffles Salon paired with a variety of Martell’s line of Cognac. This represented luxury tasting – a celebration of fine food and spirit. For starters, the Mahi-Mahi Carpaccio with tomato dressing and mango was paired with Martell VSOP-based cocktail called “The Perfect Serve”. The smell alone of their cocktail-and-Martell concoction was soothing. Made with Martell VSOP, chilled mineral water and orange zest, it pushed the flavor and aroma of the cognac over the edge.
For the main course, we were treated to a very fine Sirloin steak with Bernaise sauce paired with the Martell XO. XO stands for “extra old”, as this cognac is among those that have been aged for decades inside oak barrels. This cognac was fruitier than VSOP, and its bold flavor brought out the rich buttery taste of the Bernaise sauce.
To cap off the scrumptious meal, Chocolate Religieuse with raspberry coulis and vanilla ice cream was served along with Martell’s Cordon Bleu (CB). Cordon Bleu means “Blue Ribbon”, or the color of the medal of honor that’s presented in France. The lighter flavor of this cognac matched well with the chocolate and fruity flavors of the dessert. It was also the one that I liked the most.
This event proved that Martell cognacs are versatile, and could be very much enjoyed with the right food selection in any occasion. Try one out and experience the intricate flavors of their cognac for yourself.