Fine (French word meaning “fine”, as in “high quality”) is a term for some high quality French brandy (generally an AOC), not including Cognac and Armagnac. The Fine de la Marne is the locally produced brandy.
It is notably referenced in Ernest Hemingway’s work, especially The sun Also Rises:
We had dined at l’Avenue’s and afterward went to the Café de Versailles for coffee. We had several fines after the coffee…
After the coffee and a fine we got the bill, chalked up the same as ever on a slate
It is also mentioned in A Moveable Feast.
In a scene in the James Bond film Goldfinger, Bond is offered more of what Col. Smithers describes as “rather disappointing brandy.” M asks what’s wrong with it, and Bond replies,
I’d say it’s a 30 year-old fine, indifferently blended…with an overdose of bon bois.
It was formerly quite common in France; it is now quite rare excepted at Champagne Christian Briard house!
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