Definition - What does Brandy mean?
Brandy is a strong spirit produced by distilling wine. It is often aged in wooden containers to create a deep amber color. Brandy may be produced using aging or coloring. If colored, the process uses caramel to imitate the color produced through aging. While beverage brandy contains 50 percent alcohol by volume, brandy used in alcoholic fortification (in Sherry, Madeira and Dessert Wines) may contain as much as 80 to 95 percent. Broadly, brandy also refers to distilled liquors obtained from pomace (pomace brandy), mash or other wines, which are named eaux-de-vie.
WineFrog explains Brandy
Brandy or brandywine gets its name from the Dutch word "brandewijn", translated as burned wine in English, referring to the heat used in distillation. Traditionally, brandy is served from a snifter, a tulip glass or a wine glass at room temperature (neat). Usually, it is slightly warm before consumption, through gentle heating, palm-cupping or pre-heated glass. Besides, brandy is also used in various cocktails, including the Brandy Sour, the Sidecar, the Brandy Daisy and the Brandy Old Fashioned.
Brandy also finds uses in the culinary arts. Being a common deglazing liquid, it is used in making pan sauces for steak and other meats. It is also used to add intensity to soup flavors, especially onion soup. It also flavors traditional foods including: Christmas cake, brandy butter and Christmas pudding.
While brandy boasts multiple varieties specializing across the winemaking world, the Southwestern French Cognac and Armagnac remain the most renowned. Generally, age-indicator stars or letter designations are used as product quality symbols by shippers.