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.

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Thank you for your interest. Enjoy!