The Cognacs of Bernard Hine
David L. Ross
Posted: April 1, 1993
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Even rarer than the firm's Family Reserve is a line of vintage-dated Cognacs produced by Hine, including the 1914 vintage "L'année des dames," or "The Year of the Ladies." The vintage was produced almost entirely by women, hence the name. World War I had broken out the previous June, and by harvesttime in October, most of the men in the Cognac trade were already mobilized for battle. The 1914 vintage is a very complex but delicate-tasting Cognac, Hine says, and here he makes no specific recommendation concerning cigars, except taking the time to choose something very special.
For all of these suggested Cognac and cigar combinations, Hine underlines the critical importance of time--from having respect for the amount of time required to make these products to taking sufficient time to really appreciate sipping, or smoking, them.
Always persuasive on the topic of enjoying the "good things in life," Churchill once explained to a friend the way to properly savor a Cognac. "Good Cognac is like a woman. Do not assault it; coddle and warm it in your hands before you sip it." Hine would agree.
Looking back at all the elements involved in Cognac, from the region's rich history to the remarkable way it helps prolong a special evening with friends, Hine concludes, "Time is always associated with Cognac."
David L. Ross is the Managing Editor of Impact, a New York-based newsletter that covers the alcoholic beverage industry.
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