Sunday, September 29, 2013

Anytime Pairing

This pairing took place on a beautiful Fall Sunday afternoon. Because of the weather being so nice, I actually changed my pairing idea. I switched from a heavier, cigar and wine to one that really was perfect for this fantastic afternoon.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon

Dial In Red Wine

The Cigar:
Rocky Patel has a nice selection of cigars in his vintage line, but for me, the Vintage 2003 Cameroon is my favorite.
This cigar boasts a Cameroon wrapper that was aged 8 years before production, giving it an extremely smooth and balance profile. The rest of the cigar is a blend Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. That help  round out this medium bodied cigar.

The cigar has a very nice nutmeg spice to it and a bit of sweetness on the finish. It smoked very well and this torpedo only needed to be ashed 3 times, showing it's good construction.

The Wine:
When I first tried this red wine by Dialed In I was immediately struck by how simple yet complex this wine was. It is a really nice red that you could drink anytime, with or without food. A California red, that is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel grapes. It is really smooth on the pallet and has a nice clean finish. One notable difference with this red wine and a lot of other blended reds is that is is slightly sweet. Perfect for a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

 The Pairing:
I am very happy I chose this day to do my paring. It was the perfect weather for the Rockey Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon cigar and the Dialed In red wine.

The medium bodied cigar really match nicely with this slightly sweet red wine. The slight sweetness really enhanced the almost sweet notes of the cigar. Neither one competed with each other and the balance was perfect.

I really recommend this pairing if you are looking for a casual cigar and wine in the middle of the afternoon or
after dinner. I would not suggest it though,  if you had a heavier. dinner as it would fall flat.

As far as price goes you can get the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon cigars for about $9.00 to $11.00 depending on size. So not really an everyday smoke but definitely one for the weekends.
The Dialed In red is really a value at $15.00 or less a bottle. This is one wine you buy a few bottles and keep it around the house.

I do have a favor to ask my readers, if you have any more information about Dialed In winery, I would love to hear from you. Doing my research for the winery all I could find out was the blend and that it was from California, nothing else.

Thanks for reading and if you have any request for my next posting let me know.

The Wine:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Internet Radio Cigar Lounge

It looks like the guys at Over a Cigar want me to be on their internet radio show. I agreed and on Thursday September 26 at 7:00pm est, I will be on their show to talk cigars and wine.

To make my debut on their show, I thought we talk about the new release from the Black Crown camp, Sons of Anarchy. If you read my previous cigar news you'll remember that this cigar is a collaboration with Black Crown and the Sons of Anarchy TV show that airs on Fox.
I purchased a box of torpedoes and the guys at Over a Cigar and I are going to talk about the merits of this cigar and whatever else comes up. Be sure to check us out live and call in to the show.
With these guys it is sure to be an interesting and fun show.
Over a

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Touch of Autumn

After last week's end of the summer heat, this week's weather cooled down a bit and gave us the first hints of Fall.

So for this week's pairing I decided to enjoy a cigar and wine that has a bit more substance and complexity.

Davidoff Nicaragua Robusto

2010 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo by Cantina Zaccagnini

The Cigar: The new Davidoff Nicaragua cigar was a highly anticipated new release for a cigar manufacturer synonymous with premium, luxury cigars. The Nicaragua is a departure from the normal Davidoff lines as it is a Nicaraguan Puro. Even though it is  rolled in their factory in the Dominican Republic the cigar is all Nicaraguan. The wrapper is a 10-year-old Nicaraguan Havana-seed Rosado, the binder is Nicaraguan from Jalapa and the filler is mix of Nicaraguan tobaccos from EstelĂ­, Condega and Ometepe.

The first thing I noticed during the initial third of this cigar are the typical Nicaraguan spices, especially the pepper. The smoke was creamy and smooth but the peppery taste seemed to linger a bit much for my tastes. Knowing that the filler was grown in the volcanic soil in Nicaragua, especially Condega and Ometepe, I wasn't surprised with the peppery overtones, but being a Davidoff I expected it to be a bit smoother and better balanced. Unfortunately, I found the cigar a bit brash and over-complicated for a medium bodied cigar. A good smoke, just not a great one.

The Wine: Knowing the cigar was a Nicaraguan Puro, I needed a wine that I knew could stand up to the particular intense flavors of tobacco grown in volcanic soil. For this I chose one of my favorite wines, a 2010 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from the Cantina Zaccagnini Winery. This winery is located in a small town in the Abruzzi region of Italy. This wine is 100% Montepulciano grape and was  fermented with the skins in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Aged in oak barrels for 6 months and then another 3 months in the bottle. It has a very deep ruby color and once corked the aroma of dark berries and a slight hint of chocolate really fill your nostrils. It is medium in body and has a earthy finish that complimented and stood up to this cigar. Besides a cigar, it is really a fantastic wine for a steak dinner.

The Pairing: Even though I am not a huge fan of the Davidoff Nicaragua, this pairing really worked. In fact the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine helped diminish the overly peppery bite of the cigar. It was a great balance and a good compliment after dinner.

This pairing also has a reasonable price tag due to the fantastic value of the wine. The Cantina Zaccagnini 2010 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo costs about $15.00 a bottle and the Davidoff Nicaragua robusto tubo was for $14.00. Not bad for a Davidoff.

So if you're a fan of Nicaraguan tobacco you will definitely love the cigar and this wine really sets it off.
Both the wine and the cigar should be available at your local wine and tobacconist. 

Next week we'll fall into Fall.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cigar News

For those of you that are hooked on the award winning Fox TV series, Sons of Anarchy, you'll be interested to know that they have their own cigar and accessories.

Being marketed though the wholesaler Meier & Dutch, the Sons of Anarchy cigar is being made in Honduras by the same benders of Black Crown. It will have an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, a favorite of mine.

For more information you can read the entire article at Cigar Aficionado 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

End of Summer Savor

This week, here in the Northeastern part of Pennsylvania, we have had a nice end of summer week of great weather. It got me thinking about sitting on the front porch in the early evenings before dinner and having a nice mellow cigar with a wine that compliments both the cigar and the weather.

So for this late afternoon summer pairing I chose
Connecticut by Rocky Patel
Victoria's Passion from Blue Mountain Vineyards, a local wine from Pennsylvania.

The Cigar:  Rocky Patel is a cigar manufacturer who is always creating premium cigars that are long on flavor. Since he first launched his Indian Tabac line in 1996, he has strived to create a premium, boutique cigar. This Connecticut cigar is no exception. Yes, a well balanced and flavorful Connecticut cigar. You full bodied cigar guys might not think a Connecticut cigar can have flavor, but this one has. There are some wonderful creamy notes and the smooth flavors were consistent throughout the cigar. The ash was nice and compact and didn't flake showing it's excellent construction.

Connecticut by Rocky Patel has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with fillers from Honduras.

The Wine: A few years ago Pennsylvania had the perfect weather conditions for growing it's grapes. One of those wineries who has consistently created a wonderful wine is Blue Mountain Vineyards in New Tripoli, PA.  Blue Mountain Vineyards has been in the Lehigh Valley since 1986 and has produced some really exceptional wines. For this pairing I chose the Victoria's Passion red wine for  due to the fact that it is semi-sweet red with wonderful raspberry and cherry notes. Victoria's Passion is a blended red wine with no vintage. Served slightly chilled it was perfect on this warm late summer's afternoon and since it was a semi-sweet red it was also quite refreshing.

The Pairing: This late summer's afternoon cried out for this Connecticut by Rocky Patel cigar and a bottle of Victoria's Passion. They were the perfect compliment for the day and each other. Since both the wine and the cigar didn't linger long on the pallet you could savor the individuality of each while also enjoying the extra flavors of the two together. The wine's semi-sweet raspberry undertones helped to bring out the subtle woodsy flavors of the Rocky Patel Connecticut cigar.

The bonus to this pairing is that it is full on flavor but not strong. This pair is perfect for any afternoon. You don't need a meal before this cigar and wine, not too heavy with plenty of flavors.

You can buy the Connecticut by Rocky Patel for around $5.00 for the toro size and it is available at most major cigar stores and online retailers.

The wine is only available direct from the winery or select PA Wine & Spirits stores. You can find the wine at Blue Mountain Vineyards.

Next time we're slipping into Fall.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Montecristo and Trinchero

When I think about pairing wines with cigars it's all about the balance. The balance between the two and also the balance the cigar and the wine individually.

So I thought I'd start off my blog series with one of my favorite pairings. 


 Montecristo Classic Toro cigar 


2009 Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon from the Chicken Ranch Vineyards.

The Cigar:

Montecristo Classic Toro

Montecristo is a name synonymous with pure enjoyment.
From the time you pick up this beauty you see the excellent construction and roll.

The cigars we have in the US are the Dominican cousins to the original Cuban, but they live up to the reputation.
Medium bodied, consistent throughout, great burn and a smooth finish, makes this Montecristo one of my favorite cigars to splurge with.

The Wine:

2009 Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon from the Chicken Ranch Vineyards.

To stand up to a Montecristo cigar I need a robust yet smooth wine and found it in this Cabernet Sauvignon from Trinchero Vineyards.

This 2009 vintage was aged 22 months in French Oak. and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The oak is there but not overpowering and compliments the black cherry and rich earthy notes.

What I found most interesting is that it has notes of cigar tobacco in the aroma and I originally thought it would conflict with the Montecristo but instead the compliment was perfect.


I would definitely try this pairing again.

This is not an inexpensive pairing but with excellent an cigar and wine like these you'd expect no less Both the wine and the cigar is definitely worth the price.

The Montecristo Toro runs about $11.00 a piece and the 2009 Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon runes anywhere from $50 to $60.00.

In fact this wine is so good you can invite that good friend over and have him or her enjoy it with you.

If you try this pairing please let me know your thoughts and if you have other pairings drop me a line so I can try them myself.