How to Really Savour Cognac - Lessons Learned in Jarnac, France

How to Really Savour Cognac - Lessons Learned in Jarnac, France

I walked into a softly lit candlelit room with overstuffed leather sofas.  

It was the perfect date place for a date.  

Although in this case my date was with Cognac.  

I was at the House of Cognac Courvoisier located in Jarnac, Poitou-Charentes, France.


True Cognac connoisseurs know that tasting Cognac is a sensory experience and that's exactly what I was there for - to experience Cognac with all my senses.  Still, I did get a little nervous when I was asked to put on a blindfold.

The first step is to sniff the Cognac. 

With a blindfold the only way I could experience it was by smell.  The next step was to try and identify all the different scents.  I identified three, even though more than 40 were present.  Real connoisseurs can pick up 12 scents.

Next up was a scent machine softly expelling one of the scents in the Cognac.  This made it easier to identify the scent and get ready for the next step, which I was really looking forward to - the tasting!


Cognac is meant to be savored.  Still blind folded, I took a small sip and held it in my mouth trying to identify the tastes that I had just smelled.  Its flavor was definitely enhanced after having taken the time to smell it moments before.  It tasted strong, a sign that I'm not a regular Cognac drinker since it doesn't taste strong to Cognac connoisseurs. Fortunately the Cognac was served alongside with small desserts meant to enhance the taste.

We repeated the process several times with different types of Cognac, each one more complex than the previous one.

Despite now being a more experienced Cognac drinker, I was never able to pick up more than three or four scents in each of the glasses.

Our tour of the House of Cognac Courvoisier continued to the Cognac Museum and into the cellar, where we learned the art of being a cellar master and producing an exceptional bottle of Cognac.

I don’t see myself having a future as a Cognac connoisseur, but I thoroughly enjoyed the sensory experience and learning more about Cognac.


The House of Cognac Courvoisier in Jarnac offers several different Experience Courvoisier Tours, but I would recommend either the Family Tradition (2:30 hours), the Historic Blends tour (4 hours) or for real connoisseurs the From Grape to Glass tour (7 hours).

All of these tours include the sensory tasting in which you will experience Courvoisier as never before.


Travel tip shared by stuttgartgirl


Thank you to the Poitou-Charentes Tourist Board for inviting Traveldudes. The pictures, words, and opinions are entirely our own!