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700 years of Armagnac – 7th and last part

2010 is over and so is this noteworthy anniversary. We have come to the end of our Armagnac saga. History, communication, marketing, trade,… Armagnac evolves at the rate of the ones who make it, dismantle it, raise it and sell it. What about the taste? And what about the consumer?
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Beside producers trying to keep their traditions and production techniques alive, one can find some passionate consumers or people looking for roots and taste. Oenotourism is actually one of the B.N.I.A.’s warhorses.
Discovery is indeed the key-word of Armagnac’s potential development. This discovery is highly important because many people believe they have some knowledge about Armagnac. Yet, they should taste it, taste them – for there are several types of Armagnac – to find out the one they are sensitive to.
On that point, once again, Armagnac matches cognac. Indeed, there are so many gustatory prejudices regarding these two alcohols which are assimilated with and limited to liqueurs. The famous drink to be warmed up between the palms of our hands, by the fireside, with a good cigar! This persistent cliché is detrimental to Armagnac and it ages its consumers considerably. Therefore, the B.N.I.A. keeps encouraging tasting and discovering.

This is how the “Armagnac Perfect” concept was born. The French Barmen Association allowed the creation of cocktails made of Armagnac. Thus, the most prestigious names of the French hotels and palaces contribute to adding some glitter to the Gascon terroir. At the time of slunch and homemade pre-dinner drinks, of glass cups and other cocktail style spoons, cocktail drinks meet with success. So, the “Armagnac Perfect”, a perfect part of this socio-cultural phenomenon, could appeal to feminine customers.

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The emphasis is also placed on the Armagnac–dishes association. Today many restaurants present menus that associate dishes and wines. Armagnac plays the game with elegance. Did you know that Armagnac is perfect with Roquefort cheese – another of its neighbors? This Armagnac–dishes harmony theme was actually at the center of the interprofessional great dinners organized for the 700 years.

All the Internet sites of producers or generalists linger over the taster education. How to look at it, how to smell it, how to drink it, which is the first step.
Then comes the discovery of the different Armagnacs. Indeed, each Armagnac lends itself to a particular consumption moment. In cooking (in a sauce, flambéed), in a tasting as with wine, in an aperitif (on ice, in cocktails), as a liqueur… So it is not an Armagnac that you should discover, but the productions of different vineyards and different craftsmen.
Then come the concepts of authenticity and respect, two of the magic words for Armagnac, because they rhyme with region, tradition and production methods. Actually, Armagnac is progressively going into green methods. Thanks to organic techniques and the return to basics, the region could possibly revive its heritage in a very modern way.
Above all, we should bear in mind its diversity. Diversity of producers, of terroirs, of methods… diversity of Armagnac types and flavors.
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Far from standardization, the Armagnacs are as many stories that producers and those who savor them write as time goes by. ?As the B.N.I.A. is proudly saying, ” Armagnac is an authors’ eau-de-vie”.

To continue discovering Armagnac with the B.N.I.A.: www.armagnac.fr
or on Facebook as well: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Armagnac/55699572590?ref=ts

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