Pairing Cigars & Wine: A Beginner’s Guide

Few things are more relaxing than enjoying a cigar and wine combination that is well-paired. As wine drinking seems to be on the rise among young professionals, it is only natural to want to increase that enjoyment by pairing it with a tasty smoke. From red wine to white, champagne to sherry, these sophisticated beverages can compliment and bring out the intoxicating flavors present in tobacco leaves. The ritualistic nature of experiencing a fine wine is akin to the process of unwrapping and enjoying a fine cigar, so enjoy these cigar pairings for a memorable taste experience.

Cigar Pairing with Red WineRed wine pairs well with numerous cigars

When it comes to the ideal cigar pairings with red wines, a cigar with a strong flavor presence must be able to stand up to a full-bodied red. As bold reds tend to contain higher alcohol and tannin levels, a potent cigar like a San Cristobal can help balance out the pairing. The intense cigar flavor combination of black cherries, spice, leather and chocolate are perfectly paired with a hearty Bordeaux, Cabernet, or Merlot. As reds are characterized by fruity flavors like black currant with a spicy black licorice note, one can see the commonalities between a full-bodied red and a robust San Cristobal.

Cigar Pairing with White Wine

To accompany a sweet white wine, a cigar with dessert notes like vanilla and clove is ideal. With the less tannic tones of white wine, a milder cigar flavor will not overpower the delicate nature of white wine. An Ashton Classic 898 is deliciously pleasing when paired with a tasty Chardonnay. The subtle woody tones of the Chardonnay and Ashton Classic 898 work in unison to provide the perfect smoke-wine combination.

Cigar Pairing with ChampagneChampagne can vary from dry to sweet.

When it comes to finding that perfect cigar-champagne pairing, it can be a little trickier as champagne can be both dry and sweet. When searching out the right cigar to accompany a glass of bubbly, remember that moderation is ideal as too much carbonation can actually aggravate the tongue when paired with cigar smoking. With the many champagnes available, the pairing combinations are endless, but one suggested combination that is sure to please is the California Scharffenberger Sparkling Brut and the Macanudo Gold Label Ascot. The pairing of this sumptuous bubbly with a Macanudo will produce as smooth and mellow a taste experience as the cigar itself.

Cigar Pairing with Sherry

Many a wine aficionado like to end their day with a fine cream sherry. As sherry wines from Spain have given the sumptuous liquid an increase in popularity, sherry offers much to the cigar-smoke experience. As sherry is generally on the drier side, it makes it an ideal beverage for cigar pairings as its versatility can compliment most cigar flavors. For a luxurious pairing, a Lustau East India Solera and Montecristo Espada Guard will meld together in palatable perfection. As the versatility of sherry makes it the perfect mate of a cigar, it is worth mentioning another sherry-cigar pairing. For those with more basic tastes, there are few things more gratifying than pairing the traditional Harvey’s Bristol Cream with a Rocky Patel T4 Torpedo. The dryness and creaminess of this pair work sumptuously well together as the ideal cigar pairing for a relaxing end to a long day.

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Whether your tastes lean to red or white wines, champagne or sherry, the perfect cigar pairing is just waiting to be discovered. The ideal cigar to pair with red wine is one that is full-bodied and flavorful, like its counterpart. When it comes to white wines, a cigar sporting a sweet and fruity flavor will accentuate the fruity notes of the wine. As champagne can either be sweet or dry, putting a little thought into your cigar pairings is well worth it. The champagne’s bubbly texture can be a refreshing contrast to the smoky presence of the cigar. Sherry proves ideal for cigar pairings as its dryness blends well with numerous cigar varieties. When it comes to finding the perfect cigar pairings, it all comes down to experimentation, and let’s be honest, there are worse jobs, right?

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