b'"You need to give it upHad about enoughIt\'s not hard to seeThe boy is mine"Brandy (& dont forget Monica)1998So, we all know the history & roots of the US Songstress Brandy Norwood but do you know your Moesha from your Trebbiano Toscano? Dont worry we can help* I t goes without saying thatSO WHAT IS BRANDY?brandy traces its routes to the Dutch word brandewijn meaningTechnically, brandy is any spirit burnt wine. Back in the 12thdistilled from fruit juice that century, the Dutch utilizing ahas been fermented to form newly indoctrinated form ofalcoholbut most of the distillation would distill winecommercial brandies we drink in the hopes of preserving itstart life as grapes. The fruit is for the long journey it took incrushed, and its juice fermented the company of the merchantsto make wine. Following this, responsible for its transportationthe wine is distilleda process abroad. But do you think thatof boiling the wine and then all brandy is Cognac? Or thatcondensing its alcohol-rich all brandy is French, made fromvapours to enhance aromas and grapes and sipped from snifters?flavourto create brandy. Far from it.The raw spirit is clear, and in Brandy, for too many people,many witblits varieties, like has a reputation as a spiritpeach brandy, it is left that way. enjoyed by a more matureHowever, maturation in toasted crowd.oak barrels gives traditional grape brandy its colour and Picture an older man in a plushadds to its flavour. wingback leather armchair, nextThe distillation process to a roaring fire with a cigarraises the alcohol content between his lipshe has a glasswhile enriching the flavour, of brandy in his hand, right?giving brandies a strong, rich, even fiery character. Most Thats a very outdatedcommercial grape brandies stereotype, though. These days,spend at least two years in brandy is enjoyed across thethe barrel to mellow them, but board as well as, of course,further ageing is optional.distinguished silver-haired gents with suits and cigars.*Moesha, A 1996 sitcom Starring Brandy Norwood.Plays a Los Angeles girl coping with a stepmother as well as the pressures and demands of becoming an adult.Trebbiano Toscano (known as Ugni Blanc in France), makes up 98% of the regions 196,000 acres (79,600 hectares4x the size of Napa Valley!) and is blended occasionally with Folle Blanche or Colombard. Winegrowers also have the possibility of using up to 10% of other grape varieties too, which include the rare varieties of Folignan, Juranon blanc, Meslier St-Franois, Montils, or89Semillon. See? Its very easy to get the two confused!'