Speaking of Cognac


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June 5th 2020
Published: June 5th 2020
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Did you hear about this? From CNN: A cognac from a 1762 vintage sold for £118,580 ($146,000) at an online auction on Thursday.The "exceedingly rare" Gautier cognac is one of the oldest surviving cognacs in the world, and only three bottles of it are left, according to Sotheby's auction house. This bottle is the largest of the three, known as "grand frère" or "big brother," and had remained in the same family for generations. The "petit frère" or "little brother" was sold at an auction in New York in 2014 and the "petite soeur" or "little sister" is found in the Gautier Museum, in Cognac, southwestern France.And now this from Karen at Winespeed: TWO (in millions of U.S.$) for a bottle of Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne, the world's most expensive Cognac. Just a little gem in observance of yesterday’s International Cognac Day. Made since 1776, this Cognac is aged in barrels for more than 100 years and packaged by jeweler Jose Davalos in a crystal bottle dipped in 24-karat gold and sterling platinum, then decorated with 6,500 diamonds. Weighing 17½ pounds (8kg), the gilded vessel contains 1,000ml of spirit. Its taste? Beside the point.Time for the Hazel story!!! During my early health care consulting portion of my career, I spent a decent amount of time in Southern California. I preferred to stay in Pasadena, and often went over to a restaurant called "Perkins" for a night cap. Over the years, I got to know the bartender, Hazel, and some of the regulars.One of the regulars, a Middle Eastern chap, invited me to attend some documentary filming in Hollywood, and some after parties. But the bartender, Hazel, a mid-forties lady, ran the bar with a velvet glove, attached to an anvil. Secretly, I think we all had a "crush" on Hazel.Nevertheless, we became friends, and she often would pour a shot glass full of whatever she was pouring for another customer. One evening, she decided I needed a shot of Louis XIII Cognac by Remy Martin. I notice the price today is just under $4,000 USD. My filmmaker buddy offered me a "Cuban" cigar, and the evening carried on quite handsomely, as the Brits would say.Unfortunately, this became quite a "habit" on my trips to the south land. Hazel gave me a discount on subsequent snifters of cognac. And my buddy and I made sure she was tipped well. In fact, she often joined us after her shift was over.After a job change to a nationwide health care company, my trips to SoCal were numbered. And I dropped my cognac habit quite quickly, when I found out the real price.Moral of the story? None really, just an interesting experience!

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