"I could be in a vineyard with a small cognac maker, and if I asked the guy what the weather was, he wouldn’t answer.”
Nicolas Palazzi is tired. He’s just flown back from France, and as much decent copy as has been written on him and his windswept journeys to find rare Cognacs, Armagnacs, and mezcals—the heritage grapes, the cool Alpine breezes, the lolling cows—this trip was decidedly less romantic. Most of his trips are less romantic. This one involved a flight from NYC, a windowless warehouse, an 80-page PowerPoint presentation from his French supplier, some shut-eye, and a coach ticket back. Thirty-six hours, in total. This is an ongoing situation for him, the grind of running his small (and niche) distribution operation, PM Spirits. He’s flying out again tomorrow. Or is it the next day? Time is persnickety at the moment. I glance at his espresso, and it seems as if the barista did not pull quite enough into the cup.