Cigars with Wine

Even with the no-smoking trend happening in the big city restaurants and bars, there are still those of us who like a good cigar every once in a while.  There are many reasons for having a cigar: enjoyment, celebration, taking time to relax, taste, etc.  Whatever your reason may be, there are a few things which go very well with cigars, and a majority of them have to do with grapes.  Most people like to have some brandy, Cognac (any VS Cognac will do), or Grand Marnier (an orange peel flavored liquer made from cognac).  These are made from grapes grown around Cognac, France, and they are great distilled beverages to have with cigars.


Wines are great with cigars also.  There are some tricks to know when dealing with a product as delicate as wine when it comes to such a strong pairing as a cigar. 

  1. Red.  You have to stay red.  White wines will not do for this one.

  2. Strength/harmony.  Pick varietals which are not only strong, but also may include some comparable flavor profiles.  Cabernet Sauvignon has tobacco and chocolate, Syrah has pepper and spice, Zinfandel is rich with cacao, and Nebbiolo has tar and truffle.  A few others will work as well like Grenache, Monastrell, Aglianico, and Tempranillo.

  3. On the cheap!  Go inexpensive.  A higher quality, more expensive wine will be drowned out by the flavors of a cigar.  All that was to be experienced will be lost.  A decent red wine will lend basic flavor profiles needed to accompany the cigar and wet your whistle at the same time.

  4. Port Wine.  There is no better wine to go with a cigar, period.  The tastes of dark ripe fruits and chocolate along with Tawny port's caramel, nuts, and exotic spices mirror most cigar flavors.  The sweet residual sugars and complexity cannot be overmatched totally by even the strongest stogies.  Just remember- even do this one On the cheap.  If you buy that Tawny, only use one aged no more than 10 years- all further aged ones will be lost on this experience.

Now remember these tips- a cigar can last from 30 minutes to an hour plus.  Pick a cigar and wine you will enjoy for the long haul.  Never hesitate to speak with the experts at your local cigar and wine shops.  They will be able to steer you toward quality product.  Also, to add more flavor to your experience, try lightly dabbing the mouth end of your cigar into whatever you have chosen for your bev- scotch, cognac, port, etc.-  the mingling of the tobacco with those added flavors will tingle your palate!

COMING SOON- cigar countries, sizes, and styles.  If you go outside the US, given the opportunity, try a Cuban.  They are very good but are only valued because they are the forbidden fruit.  Other countries such as Honduras and the D.R. make an equal product.