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.

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 16, 2009.

It went great, I was just going to wait till I had a moment to collect my thoughts on the subject. THese best part about this group is that everyone in really into experimenting. You'd be amazed by how many different recommendations I received about this from this board and a couple of others that I posted on.

Also, I waned to see if some of the stylistic differences in some wines might help to stand up to the cigars and so we went for another Zin and shiraz (since last months were failures). This time the Zin did stand up against the cigar

2005 Peter Franus Zinfandel Brandlin Vineyard, comes from mountain fruit and had significantly more structure than the one from the last event - Dark color in the glass with aromas of black currants, beef broth, cinnamon, and fresh cracked black pepper. The palate shows brambly wild berries, clove and distinct black pepper in the back of the mouth with a firm tannin and acid structure. The finish is very long and enjoyable. With the cigar it retained a great mouth feel and cleansing character, The nose muted slightly but still delivered with the currants and cinnamon. Good, but third place for everyone.

2007 Pure Love, Shiraz, Layer Cake - Was enjoyable at first but I could tell upon first sip that it would be devoured by the cigar. I was hoping that a big, ripe Shiraz would help but in the end this may as well have been water once the smoke permeated the room.

And then there was the Amarone, This ended up being everyone's wine of the night. It was opened 12 hours before the event. 2003 L'Arco Amarone della Valpolicella Classico - Dark red to almost black in the glass, showing aromas of plum, confectioners sugar, floral fall leaves, coca, roasted chestnut and cinnamon. Cherry cough syrup, raisin, more cinnamon, clove and dark chocolate. It's full and soft on the palate but carried by a hidden layer of acidity that kept it fresh. Long, long cherry, chocolate finish. This was the wow wine of the night and kept pace once the cigars were lit. It was really great because the cigars actually added to this bottles complexities and brought out more wood and nutty aromas and flavors.

Lastly there was the 1991 Dow Porto Vintage - A light ruby color in the glass and giving off aromas of Black cherry, undergrowth, pipe smoke and walnut with noticeable heat. On the palate it's rich and sumptuous but not overly sweet with cherry cough syrup, sage, and cedar box. Long, long finish. This bottle did well against the cigar but lacked complexity over all which placed it second in the minds of the other smokers.

Until next month....

Reply by dmcker, Nov 16, 2009.

So I take it you gave up on the Madeira hunt, this time around, at least....

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 16, 2009.

Yeah, we had sourced almost everything before that last post. But Madeira is on the agenda for next month. Now I just need to find the right bottle. I think my comfort zone with this group will be around $125 which is why I'm worried. I need to figure out a good bottle for this price range without having any experience with them.

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 17, 2009.

dmcker, you'll be happy to know that I got a madeira for the next event. I called Rare Wine Company and they suggested the RWC Historic Series Imperial Malmsey Madeira at $125. According to Barry at RWC, this will be a good bottle to judge our liking of madeira without breaking the bank.

Reply by dmcker, Nov 18, 2009.

Sounds good, Eric, but I suggest you also keep looking around for other soleras/houses and vintages in your price range, if nothing else than for your own enjoyment and education....

You can also try to throw a couple of marsalas into the mix if your group keeps wanting to try new matches, and if you want to masochistically continue sometimes difficult searches. Some marsala is lovely, while a lot of it can be mediocre. Oloroso sherries will also be good, and probably easier to find. I'm having sherry and madeira with dessert this Thanksgiving, but with harder stuff also available when some of us move on to cigars....

Reply by GhostLemur, Nov 22, 2009.

Loving this thread. I too love the occasional cigar and have long been facinated by pairings with it. Standard is usually a Single Malt (could spend a lifetime on just matching different cigars to different malts). Port and cognac have always been a worthy alternative. Might have to give a few of the other ideas a go, although being in NZ, US wines are not very common.

Eric, would love to know more details on the cigars side of things. Are multiple cigars being tried in each session or just one? Does the cigar vary session to session? Keep up the write ups of these going forward. I'm finding it both informative and entertaining. Maybe others could add their own write ups if they do cigar / wine pairing sessions?

Reply by TheChicagoWino, Nov 22, 2009.

I have not read this entire thread so I may be repeating what someone has already said. The cigar I have been really into lately is the Nub- Connecticut (made by Oliva). It is a light to medium body cigar. Perfect size, tight smoke and ash, and a great versatile flavor! I've had it with many full bodied wines but one sticks out, CigarZin (2006 Zinfandel) by M. Cosentino. I know, it sounds like a gimmick! I am not one to fall for those but it is the real deal. Pairs absolutely fantastic with a cigar, especially the nub! The wine costs about $16 and is worth the money. I’ve had some other wines from M. Cosentino but they were not as good.

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