Five minutes with Maurice-Richard Hennessy


Interview with Maurice-Richard Hennessy, descendant owner of Hennessy cognac, brought to you by MiNDFOOD.

MiNDFOOD: Do you remember your first cognac?

I was very young and I found it too strong. I didn’t start to like it until I was about 23.

What changed your mind?

I began selling Hennessy cognac in the Paris region and drinking it became part of my job, so I began finding it more interesting and grew to love it.

How often do you travel?

Three to four months a year. 
I get a high from packing 
my suitcase.

How often do you drink cognac?

Often. I like it neat, with ice, 
in a cocktail or as a long drink. It depends on the quality of the cognac, the time of day and whether it’s with food.

What’s your ultimate cognac and food match?

Dark chocolate. It has much in common with cognac and both are very tannic.

Is cognac a spirit or a wine?

It’s a spirit based on a wine. Cognac is made from a white wine made from grapes grown in Cognac, in southwest France. It is then double-distilled in copper stills and the spirit is stored and aged.

How many types of cognac does Hennessy make?

We make five: Hennessy VS, VSOP and XO are the most accessibly priced ($85 to 
$330 a bottle); then there’s Hennessy Paradis ($760 
a bottle) and the ultimate, Hennessy Richard ($3885 
a bottle), made from wines 
aged for up to 200 years.


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