French Ambassador Celebrates Cognac

The ambassador from France celebrates his nation's trademark beverage.

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If his plush Kalorama residence says anything about French Ambassador Pierre Vimont, it's that he's no stranger to the high life. That said, he's no snob, especially when it comes to his alcohol preferences. "I'm a fan of everything that can be drunk," he told us last night at a cocktail reception he co-hosted with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

The soiree featured France's world-renowned drink, cognac, which he says is one of the products France is most proud to call its own. "It's a strong tradition that's been going on for centuries," he said of his nation's cognac industry. Guests were able to sample top of the line bottles of Louis XIII, Courvoisier, Hennessy, and Martell--a couple of which had been aged for more than a century and had price tags in the thousands.

Vimont says he prefers his country's native cognac to a Kentucky bourbon--to the dismay of one of the evening's guests, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, the founder and co-chair of the Congressional bourbon caucus--but most of the time he just sticks with wine. How does Vimont compare American wine to French? On California wines, he said: "They're a bit harsher than the French wines of the same type. They're a bit more heavy on the alcohol."

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