Cognac: The saga of the world's most coveted spirit, by Kyle Jarrard

A detailed and interesting book about the contradictions underlying a luxury product.

Kyle Jarrard's book is actually more of an encyclopedia of cognac. It has everything in it for the cognac enthusiast.

Jarrard, whose wife comes from the Cognac region, provides thousands of interesting facts, but he treads warily about a major contradiction underlying the luxury drinks business.

For the last couple of decades, the cognac industry has moved from being bottled and named by family-owned farms to huge brands such as Henessy, Remy Martin, Martell and Courvoisier, often owned by international conglomerates. For these giants, the bottom line is the bottom line and they basically churn out cognac like Coke churns out Coke.

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