armanac tastingSo I was off to Paris with my girlfriends and Mr. Weekend In Paris was back at home taking care of business, the house, the dog, the kids (away at school but checking in with them) solo. What souvenir do I get him to show him how much I appreciate the support back home? Usually I wind up with a fun, but predicable tie from Hermès. It is a huge challenge to come up with something thoughtful, masculine and “useful” to show my appreciation, but this past trip I hit upon the perfect Parisian souvenir for a man while visiting one of Paris’ institutions, Ryst-Dupeyron Armagnac distillers.

IMG_3104For five generations the Dupeyron family have been the purveyors of fine Armagnac, Cognac and wines in the heart of the 7th arrondissement. We were introduced to Ryst-Dupeyron by Alisa, our tour guide from Context Travel Paris. Our stop at the shop included an Armagnac tasting by the affable and knowledgable Eveline who has a generous pour mentality which suited us nicely given the day we were visiting it was cold and raining outside. We took a wee dram at first, but then encouraged by her enthusiasm sipped more and more from the different vintages taking care to keep track of which ones we preferred.

photo-3Eveline brought us to the back office area where petit bottles of Armagnac were lined up by year of distillation like soldiers on inspection. She explained that casks of the spirits are kept in the original barrels until needed, whereupon as demand necessitates, they bottle more and bring it to the shop for sale. I saw a bottle of 1964 – the finest year every for Armagnac (not factually correct) in my opinion because that is the year of the birth of Mr. Weekend In Paris. I decided it would be a perfect Parisian souvenir for him all wrapped up in their sturdy red box and then Eveline chimed in and told me how I could make it even more special. Ryst-Dupeyron will print out a personalized label with the name of the recipient and place it on the bottle for you. Très cool!

Other Gal Pals bought bottles as well from years similar to mine and for special occasions like an 80th birthday gift. Note to purchasers, make sure you see the price list before having the labels made. As expected, the older the Armagnac, the more expensive the bottle, but in some cases the year’s distillation is almost gone and therefore excruciatingly expensive.

Ryst-Dupeyron – 79 rue du Bac Paris 75007

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