A glass act
Most people mistakenly believe a snifter - a glass with a wide bottom and a relatively narrow top - is the best holder. But the snifter actually prevents the full enjoyment of cognac because the narrow top forces the smell of alcohol into the nose, preventing the drinker from savouring the various floral and fruity smells. The correct glass to use is a tulip glass, developed by Riedel of Austria. A good cognac requires 30-60 minutes, in a peaceful environment, best after a good meal. One starts by looking and appreciating the colour of the liquid, moving it back and forth a bit but not swirling as you would a glass of wine. Then smell from the top of the glass, sensing the delicate floral scents before moving your nose to the bottom of the opening, where the fruits appear. Take a very small sip, balance it on your tongue before swallowing very slowly.