Cognac and great food – a match made in heaven

[FEATURED] Turn food-and-wine pairing on its head and try food-and-cognac pairing instead. It’s a great revision for gourmet dishes

When Thierry Arnold, the international ambassador for the House of Rémy Martin, visited South Africa last month, he hosted dinners at two of the country’s top restaurants to demonstrate how well gourmet food can be paired with Cognac.

The events were hosted in Chef’s Warehouse in Cape Town and Marble in Johannesburg.

The respective chefs at these restaurants created bespoke dishes to pair with the three Rémy Martin variants. Each meal complemented the unique tastes and flavours of the premium Cognac.

Marble in Johannesburg

Marble’s signature cooking method, championed by renowned chef David Higgs, involves preparing food on an open flame, keeping true to South Africans’ love of cooking with fire.

There were three rules Marble Head Sommelier Wikus Human followed when pairing food with Rémy Martin. “Go bold with bold, elegant with elegant or go two completely different ways for the best combinations,” he said.

Chefs Warehouse in Cape Town

Chef Ivor Jones made his name at the famed Test Kitchen in the Mother City, before moving on to Chefs Warehouse.

The menu at Chefs Warehouse is seasonally driven and changes regularly. Situated at the top of the Constantia Valley, it offers one of the best views in the city.

For the dinner, Jones served:

Stemmed Ginger and Dark Chocolate with Apricot with Rémy Martin VSOP
Vanilla Shortbread with Barbecued Maple with Rémy Martin 1738
Casia Bark Macaroon with a Hazelnut Filling with Rémy Martin XO

About Rémy Martin

The story of Rémy Martin began over 300 years ago, in 1724 in France. Today, it is the only major Cognac House to be created by a French wine-grower and has been owned and managed by only two families since its establishment. The Cognac is proudly made in Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne.

All Rémy Martin Cognacs have different signature flavours: from floral and fruity to oaky and spicy.

Pairing suggestions

Arnold recommends the following pairings with Rémy Martin Cognacs:

Rémy Martin VSOP:

Nose: Dominant notes of vanilla because of a longer ageing period in French Limousin oak barrels, followed by ripe apricot, baked apple and an elegant floral note.
Palate: A perfect harmony between the firm character of ripe fruit and subtle notes of liquorice, offering a great complexity of elegant and powerful aromas.
Body: Well-balanced, structured and multi-layered, it combines the roundness of ripe fruit with a silk-like texture.
Pairing suggestion: Apples and dried apricots.

Rémy Martin 1738:
Nose: Generous notes of plum and fig marmalade, rounded off by intense oaky notes of toffee and toasted bread.
Palate: The mellowness of butterscotch and baked spices with hints of dark chocolate.
Body: Exceptionally rounded, with a creamy aftertaste and a concentration of nutty aromas imparted by a careful blend of eaux-de-vie aged in toasted French oak casks.
Pairing: Fresh figs and chocolate truffles.

Rémy Martin XO:
Wide spectrum of aromas of late-summer fruit, combined with rich notes of white flowers such as jasmine.
Palate: The perfect expression of fine Champagne opulence on the palate, with mature flavours of juicy plums and candied oranges, with a hint of hazelnut and cinnamon.
Body: Velvety, rich and lingering.
Pairing: Parmesan or Manchego cheese; chocolate macaroon.

One life

Rémy Martin’s marketing campaign, One Life/Live Them, encourages people to live their lives to the fullest. “We want to inspire people to explore their many talents and diverse interests, instead of simply being defined by one thing that they do,” said Phil Voget, Rémy Martin Marketing Manager.

This year, the campaign features two local faces: medical doctor and socialite Sivu Madikana and entrepreneur Madoda Khuzwayo.

Visit: to sign up for the One Life/Live Them campaign