France is home to a merde-load of wine-tasting opportunities. People from around the world flock to Reims to drink Champagne, to Bordeaux for its titular tipple. But for a trip off the beaten wino path, there is a sleeping giant in the southwest: Cognac, birthplace of the most name-dropped spirit in the rap world. While you may know that Fetty Wap loves Cognac—his crew, the Remy Boyz 1738, are named after the Rémy Martin’s 1738 Cognac—you may not know a damn thing about where it’s from. If you’re a fan of the Yak, get its hometown on your travel list.
After you’ve spent the day filling your mind with the intricacies of Cognac, spend the evening filling your belly with the stuff. Start with dinner at Poulpette or grab bistrot fare at Le Saint Jacques, then move on to the real drinking. Bar Luciole is new in town, and an excellent spot for exploring the Cognac category in all of its glory. You’ll find the classics as well as stuff from the little guys. (Try a glass of Raison Personnelle 1.2 to start.) While the chic, modern bar has an impressive selection of Cognac to taste neat, the place also does cocktails well. Give one a go before heading to Bar Louise, another newcomer boasting great spirits offerings and cocktails to match. Although you may be in the birthplace of Cognac, remember to take it slow and enjoy the fine nuances of this special spirit. After all, there's always more Cognac awaiting you the next day.