Best of the Bay 2011: BEST ARMAGNAC ATTACK

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There's a saying that goes "the French make cognac, but they drink Armagnac." Add an "as do San Franciscans" parenthetical to the truism, because one 76-year-old Fillmore Street liquor store stocks a collection of the superior Gallic brandy fit to spawn a connoisseur. We refer to D&M Liquors' Armagnac selection, which includes $50 bottles of Tariquet for everyday sips as well as Veuve J. Goudoulin Vieux Bas vintages dating back to 1929 and bottled especially for the store. Ex-D&M employee Charles Neal set up this transatlantic partnership and proceeded to (literally) write the book on the subject — Armagnac: The Definitive Guide to France's Premier Brandy. Unfamiliar with Armagnac? The friendly staff are happy to give you the 411.

2200 Fillmore, SF. (415) 346-1325, www.dandm.com

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