Wine Talk

Snooth User: Eric Guido

Wine and Cigars???

Original post by Eric Guido, Oct 9, 2009.

Any help would be appreciated here.

I have a buddy that's really into cigars and I've been partaking from time to time. It's been fun but I've never tried to put a wine in front of someone smoking a cigar. Now that everyone knows I'm the "Wine Guy" I've been asked to supply next weeks smoking event with some wines. YIKES.

I don't know where to start? I was thinking they have to be big and burly but I thought there may be someone out there in Snooth land that has experience with this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Reply by dmcker, Oct 15, 2009.

Don't know how big your group is Eric, but if you're going to take both a zin and a port, suggest you serve the zin first. ;-) I guess that'd be one way to find out quickly which option works better for you...

Reply by Eric Guido, Oct 15, 2009.

That's exactly what I'm thinking. Now I just have to hope we don't have a rain out since we planned on doing this outside and it looks like NY is going to get hit with a big storm tomorrow. Not the end of the world though because we'll just reschedule but I've been looking forward to this so much and it would mean another week of anticipation.

Reply by floatero2, Oct 20, 2009.

I think that a late harvest zin is the way too go, but you can also never go wrong with Scotch. My personal favorite is the Dalwinie 15yr it has nice sitrus flavor and is not overly peaty.

Reply by dmcker, Oct 21, 2009.

So Eric, how'd it go?

Reply by Eric Guido, Oct 21, 2009.


I'll be posting an update to this on the weekend, it's been a very hectic week at work and it's kept me from putting my thoughts together. At the moment I will say that it was amazing. The only issue is that some of the attendees were just not ready for the sweeter styled wines of which there was a Port and a Vin Santo.

Reply by FernandoCabada, Oct 21, 2009.

Hi there.
I am a cigar smoker as well as a wine lover.
Maybe my recomendation will not be an orthodoxe one, but you can try a young fruity Cabernet Franc or Malbec with a mild Dominican aged cigar as "AVO Intermezzo". For me it is an excellent pairing.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 22, 2009.

We stay waiting!

Looking forward to hearing your results!

Reply by dmcker, Oct 25, 2009.

So how sweet is too sweet for these people, Eric? Distilled liquors can be plenty sweet themselves, but fortified wine too sweet? Fruity sweetness the problem?

I, too, have encountered folks who claim not to like any wine that's 'too sweet', though I count myself fortunate in being able to enjoy virtually the entire range of wine (color, varietal, level of sweetness), in the right context and if it's well made. I suspect many people who proclaim that position just haven't had the right sweet wine in the right context. Not that that's the problem you allude to at your event, of course...

Reply by Eric Guido, Oct 25, 2009.

Hey everyone, again I'm sorry it took so long to sit down and reply. It has been one of the hardest weeks of the year that ended last night with a very successful wine and food event.

Onto my response. First, sorry I don't have the cigar names. There were many different ones being passed out by the host. I might be able to pick his brain in the near future for more info.

So after all of the amazing recommendations I decided to bring an assortment of items. Most presented surprising and... interesting results. Also, after that night, we all decided to make this a regular event and so I'll be thinking of what to bring to the next one over the coming week or two. Lastly, I wasn't able to get a late harvest ZIn in time which I wanted for the last flight.

Round 1 - I posted this topic in multiple boards and although many people felt that fortified wines and straight liquer were the way to go, many did recommend red wine.

2006 Fetish Wines Shiraz The Watcher - This wine was decanted for over an hour. It was beautiful and elegant... but totally destroyed by the cigar.

2006 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes - This was a bottle that I brought on my own and boy was I glad I did. It's bit, it's rich and it's got a ton of structure buried under its layers of intense fruit. I was happily surprised as were the other smokers.

2007 Orin Swift The Prisoner - A big, fun party in a bottle. This was a favorite of many of the tasters for its flashy, vibrant fruit and spicy characters on the palate. Many of the tasters thought this was gong to be a great compliment to the cigar... but they were wrong. The cigar removed any weight this had on the palate, it could have been grape juice.

Round 2

2000 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Vin Santo del Chianti Classico - The nose on this was gorgeous and, drinking this young, I can see why I loved an aged version that Greg had put in front of me once. Did this stand up to the cigar... OH YEAH! But honestly, as good as it was I did feel that I was wasting the bottle because even though it stood up and worked wonders on the palate between puffs, it lost much of its nuance. Also, many of the tasters had problems with the level of sweetness in this wine. It was very rich and thick but did have a great level of acidity which carried all the stuffing very well.

1977 Warre's Vintage Port - Holy cow. So this was my first good port. I was really surprised by this bottle because I expected something much more aggressive or powerful (in an alcohol way). Instead it was gorgeously layered and nuanced with raisins, coffee, roasted nuts and chocolate. Some rich raspberry fruit. Big spicy nose. The alcohol was noticeable but in perfect balance with the ports structure. Did it stand up to the cigars... Absolutely... but it was soooo good that I just wanted to drink it. This bottle was beautiful.

So at the end of the night I asked everyone what their favorite bottle was... I was surprised by the answer and so a couple of days later I ask them again...

Four of the six tasters preferred the:
2006 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

I was all for the Port but I totally understand why the majority loved the Termes. It may not have been as powerful against the cigar as the Port or Vin Santo but it held its own and was easily the best drinking of the reds and seems to have a good future ahead of it.

And the odd man out loved the Vin Santo.

Lastly dmcker, I think we all found that most of the wines lost much of their complexities against the cigars yet the sweetness remained. So with the Vin Santo and the Prisoner, they tasted very sweet when the cigar was masking some of their stuffing.

Reply by WineFlair, Oct 25, 2009.

I would try a Vin Jaune from the Jura, a very peaty single malt scotch whisky from Islay, or as pretty much everyone else has said, a Port. Unlike many others here, though, I actually think a Tawny works even better than a Ruby, and I wouldn't do good Vintage Port, as the smoke and its effect on smell and taste will mask the nuances and many of the flavors of an expensive vintage.

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 8, 2009.

I know this is more of a forum for us wine lovers but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a cognac? How much does someone have to pay for a "good" bottle (not top flight, but better than the average bear). Thanks Guys

We have another night coming up this Friday. There's another Vintage Port on the agenda Dow's 1991. I know it's a little young but one of the other participants sourced it. I really want to do a Madeira but so far it seems like the good stuff is a little out of this groups current price range.

Reply by dmcker, Nov 9, 2009.

If Madeira's too pricey then fine cognac may be, too. A good, aged Armagnac is every bit as good as Cognac, and usually cheaper. Cheaper yet, and a delicious wildcard in the deck though not always easy to find, is a good, aged rum. All of these go very well with cigars.

Here's a Snooth thread from last spring on the subject of rums:

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 9, 2009.

Thanks Dmcker,

Am I wrong about Madeira? Going by Rare Wine Companies website, it appears that the most affordable stuff is in the 250+ range?

Reply by rhill2990, Nov 9, 2009.

I am an on and off cigar fan. For my money, I enjoy a Greek brandy called Metaxa. It is relatively inexpensive, but it is smooth and nice. For what it is worth---

Reply by StevenBabb, Nov 9, 2009.

this is a wild shot in the dark, but try this wine, if you can find it in your area, CHATEAU MUSAR, "HOCHAR", LEBANON, 2002. this wine is a great blend, cinsault/carignan/cabernet sauvignon/syrah, displaying "baked" fruits, oak, and leather. i think this would be a great pairing for your cigars and en even better conversation piece, being a wine from Lebanon.

Reply by dmcker, Nov 9, 2009.

Eric, there is definitely good Madeira out there at a lower price point. Rarewineco aims to provide a portion of the creme de la creme of what's available in the marketplace. That being said, they also have bottles for under $100. Go to their website, and don't go by what Sherry Lehman lists for them! Port and Madeira have suffered from market neglect in recent years, and places like Sherry Lehman play on a wealthy, clubbish, even snobbish type of client (not 'customer' ;-) ) who seems willing to pay ridiculous prices to continue bearing the torch.

Don't feel like you have to start by going after the very best bottles as perceived by the market. Taste around a bit, starting at a lower price point, until you find what you like. Other vendors can provide good bottles as well, so keep looking for them.

One way to search would be to start like this:
then visit each vendor's website.

Here's a source for some general info about Madeira:
There are a number of other pages around with useful info like this (from an Australian purveyor that I might consider using, though you should probably look for solutions closer to home):

You ask in another thread about overseas shippers. If you continue to pursue Madeira, there are some decent merchants in Britain that are worth checking out. You should also probably start monitoring auctions. In my personal experience Madeira is *well* worth the effort....

Reply by dmcker, Nov 9, 2009.

And RHill, I have many fond memories of nights over a bottle of Metaxa, in Greece and several other countries, from college days and since then... ;-)

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 9, 2009.

Thanks dmcker, I'm just afraid of being turned off by bad bottles and I guess I fall into that same old trap of feeling like paying up would help prevent that. I was recently looking at this bottle: D'Oliveiras 77 Terrantez from a local place at $130 but decided to pass.

StevenBabb - Thanks for the suggestion. This is a wine that I am looking to try but it has so far evaded me. Interesting that you recommended it. However, I think I'd like to try an aged version on it's own before going with the cigars so I could better understand the wine. Thanks though, very interesting suggestion.

At the moment, we have another Vintage Port and a big ripe Amarone on the agenda for Friday. A few more to be added.

Reply by dmcker, Nov 9, 2009.

Eric, the same bottle is 60 quid here:
and $109 here:

Of course neither (esp. the UK bottle) all that useful for this week. Port is a small market and thus not always easy to hunt in, but Madeira is worse these days. So start hunting around on the net, tasting and building up a supply over time.

Isn't this hobby fun?!

Reply by dmcker, Nov 16, 2009.

So how went Round 2, Eric?

Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Popular Topics

Top Contributors This Month

127503 Snooth User: rckr1951
29 posts
847804 Snooth User: EMark
21 posts
425274 Snooth User: duncan 906
425274duncan 906
4 posts


View All

Snooth Media Network