Cognac Tasting Toronto And Ontario – In Person or Virtual

Why not try a cognac tasting experience? Our tasting events are crafted for those who appreciate the spirit of this fine drink.

We offer tasting events for groups or individuals. We have multiple options. You can choose a virtual cognac tasting for those across Ontario or you can have us organise a local tasting in the  Greater Toronto Area.

We organise tasting sessions at our licensed tasting room, 180 Drinks. If you would prefer to have a tasting party at your place, we do that too! Just choose our mobile service.

Why cognac? As you may be aware, cognac is produced in France. It takes the name ‘cognac’ after the town of Cognac. This is a barrel-aged liqueur that follows very specific processes during its production. The drink is so popular that you will find many tasting clubs around the world, complete with guided tours.

What We Cover During Our Cognac Classes

Prepare yourself for a captivating and enlightening cognac tasting experience that will take your appreciation for this beloved spirit to new heights. Get ready for an engaging and informative session that promises to enrich your knowledge and enjoyment of cognac. Raise your glasses and say cheers to an unforgettable experience!

Cognac Appearance

Cognac is a drink that is often associated with sophistication and luxury. The brandy is made from white wine grapes, exclusive to the Cognac region in France. This lends the spirit a certain exclusivity that is not found in other drinks.

Cognac typically exhibits a rich and golden hue, ranging from amber to deep mahogany. Its colour is also influenced by factors such as the ageing process, the type of oak casks used for maturation, and the presence of additives. For example the cognac may have been coloured with caramel, so this is one factor that may alter the perception of the cognac’s true age.

The visual appearance of cognac offers a glimpse into its depth and complexity, enticing the senses and setting the stage for a remarkable tasting experience.

Our cognac tasting Toronto or Ontario experience is designed to help you understand more about this complex spirit.

Cognac Tasting
Cognac Tasting Class

Cognac Aroma

Cognac’s essential difference from most other spirits is that its aromatic components derive directly and exclusively from the grape.

During a typical cognac tasting session, you will be invited to get in touch with the diverse range of aromatic notes. Some of the most common aroma profiles that you will come across in cognac are:

Fruity: The white wine grapes are a giveaway for this one. But it’s not just grapes. Cognac can have a bouquet of aromas that include dried apricots, plums, and citrus.

Floral: Delicate floral scents can be detected in cognacs, such as jasmine, violet, and iris. These aromatic nuances lend an elegant and aromatic dimension to the spirit, enhancing its complexity.

Oak and Spice: Cognac acquires distinct characteristics from the oak barrels used for ageing. You may perceive notes of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and toasted oak, which contribute to the warm and spicy aromas found in well-aged cognacs.

Note that the more a cognac is aged, the more pronounced are its aromas.

Cognac Taste

Two major styles of Cognac are Dry / Clear and Rich / Grapey. Within these major styles of Cognac there could be various flavours and aromas including: fruits (berry, stone, tropical, citrus), floral, nutty, woody (oaky, caramel, vanilla), and spices.

Each Cognac is unique, however at the same time you can cluster them into groups with similar tastes  characteristics called flavour camps. Your tasting is organised with a curated selection of Cognacs that appear in different flavour camps. Grouping the Cognac’s like this helps you to identify the major types you prefer, which helps you to zero in on new ones to try that belong to similar cohorts.

Cognac gains character from the oak barrels in which it is aged. This imparts subtle woody and vanilla flavours, along with gentle tannins. The oak influence provides structure and depth to the taste profile.

The taste of cognac, as with the aroma, changes with the barrel ageing process. Cognacs that have been aged for more than 15 years often have more intense notes of chocolate, tobacco, spices, and nuts.

Cognac Tasting Event
Cognac Experience

Cognac Knowledge

During the cognac tasting experience, you will gain more than just a sip of the drink. You will learn about different elements fused together to produce a fantastic drink.

Production Methods: Cognac production is controlled by the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC). Cognac is made from specific grape varieties, primarily Ugni Blanc (About 98% of all production).

Harvested by hand, these grapes are then pressed and fermented into a low-alcohol wine known as ‘wine eau-de-vie.’ This is then distilled twice and later aged in oak barrels from Limousin or Troncais. Note that cognac must be aged for at least two years. Some of the finest cognacs in the world have been aged much longer – as long as 50 years!

History: Cognac has a long history, dating back to the 16th century when Dutch traders introduced the process of distillation to the town of Cognac.

The result was that people realised that distilling wine produced a spirit with unique qualities and exceptional flavours. In the 18th century, some of the most famous cognac houses came into being, including Remy Martin and Martell.

Interrelationships: Cognac is a type of brandy, and with that shares a common connection with brandy. But cognac’s flavour differs from other types of brandy.

Use In Cocktails: Cognac is best enjoyed on its own or mixed with other spirits such as Champagne. However, cognac also forms the base for many classic cocktails such as Sidecar, Manhattan, or a Sazerac.

As you savour a glass of cognac, you become part of this remarkable journey, connecting with the traditions, craftsmanship, and passion that have made cognac an enduring symbol of refinement and indulgence throughout history.

In Person And Virtual Cognac Tasting Formats

Cognac Tasting Kit

Self Guided

Looking to explore the delights of cognac on your own terms? We’ve got you covered. Introducing our self-guided cognac tasting events.

With our specially crafted self-guided cognac tasting kit, you’ll have everything you need for a memorable tasting experience. Each kit includes:

  1. Curated Selection of Cognac Samples: Delight in a carefully chosen assortment of 5 distinct cognac samples. These selections have been thoughtfully curated to showcase a variety of styles, flavours, and characteristics.
  2. Comprehensive Tasting Guide: Our informative guide will walk you through the art of cognac tasting. Learn the proper techniques, explore key knowledge about cognac production, and gain a deeper understanding of each featured cognac. The guide also includes detailed tasting notes for each sample, allowing you to fully appreciate the unique nuances and aromas.
  3. Optional Note Card, Tasting Glass, and Food Pairing: Enhance your tasting experience by adding optional extras to your kit. We offer a tasting journal to write down your personal impressions, a specialised tasting glass to elevate the sensory experience, and suggested food pairings to complement the flavours of the cognac.

Immerse yourself in the world of cognac at your own pace, guided by our expertly curated kit. Whether you’re a novice enthusiast or a seasoned connoisseur, our self-guided cognac tasting experience is designed to delight and expand your knowledge.

Click the link below to discover more about our self-guided cognac tasting kits and embark on an unforgettable journey.

Shop Cognac Tasting Kit

In Person Cognac Master Class

Really want the complete experience? We recommend the in-person cognac tasting master class. With our expert by your side, you will learn about cognacs in a completely different way.

Choose the convenience of our mobile cognac tasting class, where we bring the captivating tasting experience to your preferred location. Alternatively, join us at our dedicated tasting room at 180 Drinks for a refined ambiance and a curated atmosphere.

Our in-person cognac tasting master class features:

Tasting Kit: Immerse yourself in a curated selection of 5 to 6 exceptional cognac samples. Each sample is carefully chosen to showcase a diverse range of flavours and styles, allowing you to savour the nuances of this distinguished spirit. You will also get our curated cognac tasting guide.

Cognac Tasting Glass Rental: Enhance your tasting experience by utilising our tasting glasses, meticulously designed to capture the alluring aromas and refined flavours of cognac.

Optional Chocolate Tasting and Snack Pairings: Elevate your cognac tasting experience by indulging in optional chocolate tasting or expertly curated snack pairings. These delectable accompaniments are thoughtfully selected to complement and accentuate the flavours of the cognacs, elevating your overall enjoyment.

Optional Table Rentals: Should you require additional seating or table space for your esteemed guests during the tasting event, we offer optional table rentals to cater to your specific needs.

Contact us today to receive a personalised quote and begin crafting your unforgettable cognac tasting master class.

Private Cognac Tasting
Virtual Cognac Tasting

Virtual Cognac Tasting or Hybrid (In-Person & Online Cognac Tasting)

Looking to connect with your remote team or distant friends? Immerse yourself in the world of cognac with our virtual cognac tasting experience!

Our online cognac experience brings together participants from different locations. We offer a shared tasting adventure that’s cost-effective and accessible for those in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and all across Ontario.

For a blend of in-person and virtual experiences, our hybrid cognac tasting event caters to teams in both office and remote settings, ensuring flexibility and inclusivity.

Indulge in a comprehensive virtual cognac tasting, mirroring our in-person offerings. While rental glasses are not available, participants can purchase their own to enhance their online cognac course.

To ensure a seamless experience, virtual cognac tasting kits can be conveniently picked up or shipped directly to your guests, providing all the elements for an unforgettable journey into the world of cognac.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq What is the difference between VS, VSOP, and XO cognacs?

Cognac’s taste changes with age as it matures in oak barrels.

For each grade of cognac below, the youngest in the blend must be at least:

  • VS – Thirty months old.
  • VSOP – Four and a half years old.
  • XO – Six years old (Will increase to 10 years old in 2018)

faq What is unique about the terroir where the Cognac grapes are grown?

Cognac is at the heart of a very special border region that is remarkable for its gentleness in the southwest of France above the Bordeaux wine region. There are no abrupt slopes or cliffs in the landscape, and its weather is gentle and temperate.

The town of Cognac consists of six vineyard growth areas, called crus or terroir. The six growth areas are: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois, and Bois Ordinaires. Only grapes grown in this legally defined area of France can be used to create Cognac.

The best quality Cognac’s are produced from a chalky sub-soil that is highly porous which is only available in the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne cru’s. The subsoil acts as a sponge and holds the rainwater, releasing it slowly to the topsoil helping to regulate the moisture. In the driest of summers, the roots of the vine can access the moisture.

faq What are top selling cognac brands in the world?

Hennessy has been a dominant force in the Cognac trade since the French Revolution, and today controls about 40% of the Cognac market.

The other three giants of Cognac are:

  • Remy Martin
  • Martell
  • Courvoisier

faq Can I do cognac classes at 180 Drinks?

Absolutely! We are licensed for up to 25 guests at our location: 400 Matheson Blvd E Unit 20, Mississauga, ON L4Z 1N8

If your guest count is greater than 25 guests we can also travel to your location in Ontario. Please see which areas we serve below.

faq Do you offer a cognac tasting bar for events?

Absolutely! This is a great option for a more high level cognac tasting event. Our cognac tasting bars are tailored to your service to your requirements and budget.

Get in touch today for a quote on a cognac tasting bar for your next corporate event, party, or wedding!

faq Do you do non-alcoholic cognac tastings?

We understand that some individuals prefer non-alcoholic options. We are delighted to offer a non-alcoholic spirit tasting experience for those who wish to enjoy a spirit tasting without consuming alcohol.

faq What platform do you use for your virtual cognac tastings?

We realise that different customers have different platforms they prefer to use. At 180 Drinks we are platform agnostic, so for your virtual cognac tasting event, we can provide the virtual platform, or we can adapt to use your own platform. For example, if you prefer to do a Zoom cognac tasting, we can accommodate this. Other platforms commonly used are Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Webex.

faq What areas do you serve in Ontario for your cognac classes?

For virtual cognac tasting experiences, we serve all of Ontario.

For in-person private cognac tasting Toronto and Ontario experiences at your location, we serve the following cities:

  • Ajax
  • Aurora
  • Barrie
  • Brampton
  • Brant
  • Brantford
  • Burlington
  • Caledon
  • Cambridge
  • Fort Erie
  • Grimsby
  • Guelph
  • Halton Hills
  • Hamilton
  • Ingersoll
  • King City
  • Kitchener
  • Lincoln
  • London
  • Markham
  • Milton
  • Mississauga
  • Newmarket
  • Niagara Falls
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Oakville
  • Oshawa
  • Pelham
  • Pickering
  • Port Colborne
  • Richmond Hill
  • Schomberg
  • Catharines
  • Stratford
  • Thorold
  • Toronto (Downtown Core, East End, East York, Etobicoke, GTA, North York, North End, Old Toronto, Scarborough, West End, and York)
  • Vaughan
  • Waterloo
  • Stratford
  • Welland
  • Whitby
  • Woodbridge
  • Woodstock

Get in touch today for your next in person or virtual cognac tasting Toronto event!

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