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Stogie Tips: Pairing Champagne and Cigars

30 Dec 2009

Odds are tomorrow night you’ll be celebrating the New Year with a champagne toast. And if you’re like me, you’ll also want to celebrate that festive occasion with a fine cigar. But not just any cigar will do.

ChampagneWhile I’ve seen champagne pairings that include such powerhouse cigars as an Opus X, this seems like a waste of good champagne to me. Sure, while you’ll the enjoy cigar—much as you probably would if any exceptional cigar was paired  a glass of water—a true cigar/drink pairing should bring out the best in both components.

That’s why I’d recommend the following five cigars when you’re looking for something to smoke with a toast on New Year’s Eve:

Macanudo Vintage 1988 — I recently smoked a Churchill of this blend and its extensive aging has turned this into a delicate smoke with almond notes.

Por Larrañaga (Cuban) — This under-appreciated Cuban has just the right combination of mild flavors to pair with a fine Cava.

Paul Garmirian Gourmet Belicoso Fino (1991) — This one’s a bit specific, but with a mild to medium body, ginger, and floral notes, it’s an excellent pairing for a vintage champagne.

Davidoff Classic — Considered the most mild of the Davidoff blends, these cigars have a creamy base with vanilla notes and plenty of subtleties.

Illusione Epernay — Named after the central town in the Champagne region of France, Illusione creator Dion Giolito says this line (originally commissioned for European Cigar Cult Journal) is specifically designed to pair with champagne.

In addition to picking the right cigar, here’s one other hint to keep in mind: Consider pouring your champagne in a traditional wine glass instead of a champagne flute. Tall, slender flute glasses often enunciate the bubbles to the detriment of flavor. Also, be sure to avoid saucer-shaped champagne coupes, which eliminate the brilliant aromas of a fine champagne.

Cheers!

Patrick S

photo credit: Blogspot

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Pairing Champagne and Cigars”

  1. Dave in Ashburn Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Does the P.G. shop in McLean always have aged cigars on hand? I've been looking for an excuse to go there but it's a bit of a hike from my 'burb.

  2. Patrick A Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Yes, and it's worth the hike.

  3. Dave in Ashburn Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Definitely worth the hike. Picked up a 4-pack of coronas from 1992! Nice selection of Padrons too!