Thursday, June 21, 2012

Juneathon 2012 Day 18&19 - Gym in the morning, cognac at night

Juneathon 2012 Day 18&19 - Gym in the morning, cognac at night
Gym - 40min x 2

Both Monday and Tuesday were identical in that they started with the gym.Getting the exercise out of the way early not only allows you to pat yourself on the back for your discipline but saves you from those horrible June moments when you realise it’s evening and you still have to get out and do something.
Evening activity would have been impossible on Monday as it was taken-up with cognac tasting and I don’t think tilting, sniffing and swallowing a little liquid  is in anyway  athletic. It was held inside the bowels of Vinopolis (a 2.5 acre labyrinth beneath railway arches) and focused on two producers A E Dor and Grosperrin who I had never heard of. Hennessy, Martel, Remy Martin, and Courvoisier  are the widely available, widely known brands that dominate the British market and from my visits to the region I know a few more but there are about 250 cognac producers in all and I know such a small proportion. This is actually one of the attractions of the drink: apart from the big 4 the whole industry is fragmented. It is artisanal - the equivalent of handmade, reliant on the skill and taste of an individual producer. Tastes vary, the products vary. As I am surrounded by devices that are produced in their millions and are pretty much identical, tasting something small scale and distinctive is a pleasant contrast.
It was fascinating comparing the two brands, and without descending into the flowery language which afflicts the description of such drinks, the least you can say is they both had a very different characteristics. Unfortunately for each move up the price step you could see what you were getting for your money. Nevermind I know I can still get something pretty decent. The clear message of the evening though was to avoid at all costs the VS cognacs from the big 4 that dominate the market: they are not nice drinks.
When we came out it was still light and for the first time it looked as if it could be summer. Hurrah! I can think of few sights to compare with the Thames in the gloaming. 

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