Sunday, December 8, 2013

New York State of Mind

Today we received a bit of snow here in eastern PA and it got me thinking about the upcoming winter and how I enjoy visiting New York this time of year. There are a lot of iconic historic holiday visions that surround New York; the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, ice skating in Central Park and the snow up in the Finger Lakes.

So with the holiday's right around the corner, I thought I'd do a pairing with it's historic roots in New York. The cigar company started in New York City in 1930 and the winery a bit further up state in Watkins Glen in 1951.

Wine: Lakewood Vineyards 2011 Port
The Cigar: Nat Sherman cigars has been a family owned,  premium cigar company for over 80. Currently run by Nat Sherman's son, Joel, the tradition of a fine premium cigar has not wavered.
Today I smoked the Metropolitan blend which is a cigar made in the Dominican Republic using a premium Connecticut Shade wrapper and all Dominican binders and fillers. This is a mild bodied cigar that doesn't lack flavor. The cigar has the simple Nat Sherman band with their iconic clock on it and the construction is flawless. The flavors are well balance and creamy, yet it still remains mild on the pallet. The cigar had some subtle earth notes with hints of roasted coffee toward the last third of the cigar. The burn was perfect down to the band with a firm ash.
An enjoyable mid-afternoon smoke.

The Wine: Another one of my finds during my recent trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York is the Lakewood Vineyards located on Seneca Lake. This vineyard has won many awards for their wines and produces a full line of wines from dry whites and reds, to sweeter wines like ice wines and even mead, but what caught my eye, or should I say taste buds was their 2011 Port. I am a sucker for a good port and Lakewood Vineyards port is no exception. A port wine is usually a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the northern provinces of Portugal. But with the great soils and climate other areas are having you are finding fortified wine's like Port being produce elsewhere. The Lakewood port really hit my pallet perfectly. It has a very big nose of dark berry and it is very smooth and velvety on your tongue. The finish has a slight hint of anise. 

The Pairing: The basic concept of this pairing was matching up two New York icons during a mid-afternoon snow. What I got was a very enjoyable afternoon on my porch watching the snow fall and enjoying my drink and smoke. The two paired very well together. The subtle coffee notes in the Nat Sherman Metropolitan cigar paired very well with those deep berry notes from the Lakewood Vineyards 2011 Port. The pairing is also not hard on the wallet. Most retailers like sell the Nat Sherman for about $5.50 while the Lakewood Vineyards Port is only $15.00 a bottle and available through their website.
If you are looking for a really easy going pairing I definitely suggest this one, you won't regret it.

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Thank you for your interest. Enjoy!