About two weeks ago we were fortunate enough to join the Remy Martin and Land Rover team at their special 4×4 off-road experience. If you missed it, you can read up on it here.
This experience also afforded us the chance to catch up with Remy Martin Ambassador Mini Kunene for a quick interview. Here’s how it all unfolded.
Please tell us, who is Minenhle and what is your affiliation with Remy Martin?
Minenhle Kunene is the Senior Brand Ambassador for Remy Martin SA but I currently look after Kwa-Zulu Natal, Freesate and Gauteng,
How did you start in the cognac business? What was your motivation, your background?
I merged into this career from the event organizing background, I ran a company alongside my Aunt where we specialized in social and corporate events.
Let me jump right in and ask you this. I am your average beer drinking South African male. What is it about Cognac that makes it so wonderful, and people enjoy drinking this fine spirit?
Think of it as traveling, yes you are born in South Africa but what stops you from discovering other countries? It doesn’t necessary mean neglect your beer but open up to other explorations as well.
There’s the unwritten rule that cognac has to be enjoyed straight, and only straight. Is that true? Is it ever acceptable to use a cognac in a cocktail?
I would say false, the cognac spirit is very versatile. Some people would prefer it traditionally served neat but the spirit can be enjoyed in many forms. In a traditional cocktail such as sidecar or simply with a mixture of Ginger ale on ice.
So how does one tell that the cognac you’re enjoying is good. Colour? Glass? Legs?
Colour and Aroma are best way to identify what best accommodates an individual’s palate and appreciation. However more so greatly the better way is looking at the category be it VS, VSOP or XO this will give you the ageing of the variant as well as the possible complexity of the spirit.
What’s the best way to appreciate a fully aged cognac?
I always say that you need to try it neat firstly and from there you can give it direction whether to add ice, water or even a mixer of your choice.
The 4×4 off-road experience collaboration was quite a thrill. Is this a strategic move for the brand, where you pair experiences such as these as brand awareness exercises? Will we see more of these?
It definitely is and the idea is to find different platforms that we introduce our cognacs to our consumers by linking it to their interest and passions.
Lastly, one life. Live them, what does it mean to you?
It honestly means that you are not defined by what you are but all of that you are. Why be one thing when you can be many. You only have one life so live them (all the different passions and talents you individually embody)