Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Pairing to Warm a Cold Day

OK, enough is enough with this nasty winter weather, right!
My last pairing I was on the beach on the Dominican Republic and this one I am home in Northeastern Pennsylvania with over a foot of snow on the ground. I'd really rather be on the beach. When the weather is a rough as it's been it's really easy to become depressed and blue. So, with the weather being as grey and cold as it is, I wanted a pairing of a cigar and wine that would help warm my spirits as well as my pallet.

So today's pairing I paired a medium to full bodied cigar from Nicaragua with a wine from Argentina.

Cigar: Pucho Habano Colorado
Wine: Familia Zuccardi 2008 Malbec Malamado Port

The Cigar: 
Before I start I will disclose that I was given samples of this cigar by the Pucho cigars.

Before Instagram, I had no idea Pucho cigars even existed. The more I looked into them I found that these cigars are created by Michael Palma with help from Nestor Plascencia.  If you know the Plascencia name you will know they make cigars for some of the finest companies in the world including, Rocky Patel, Alec Bradley, Padilla and other notable brands. Having visited Plascencia's factory in Nicaragua and knowing their wonderful craftsmanship, I definitely had to try this cigar. Upon receiving my package I noticed that the cigars arrived dry and need humidification so I let them sit for over 3 weeks in my humidor.
Today, when I pulled out the cigar it felt good and I lit it up. The first thing I can say is the color and the draw of the cigar were perfect. The Habano Colorado wrapper had a great color and oiliness. The draw was smooth and effortless.
The burn unfortunately was a bit uneven probably due to the fact of them being a bit dry upon receiving them but a few touch ups and the smoke was good. In fact, very good. They claim this cigar full bodied and for the knowledgeable cigar smoker due to it's complexity. I felt it was medium to full but it's balance and complexity were noteworthy but could be enjoyed by a novice smoker as well. These hand rolled beauties are made from Cuban seed tobaccos grown in the very fertile soil of the Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua. Knowing Nicaraguan tobacco especially tobacco from the Jalapa Valley I expected a bit of peppery notes and cedar but didn't expect the cigar to be as smooth as it was.  A thoroughly enjoyable cigar.

The Wine:
Knowing I was going to be smoking a cigar with tobaccos from the Jalapa valley, I wanted a wine that would add to the rich flavors and not compete. I chose an interesting Malbec wine that was done in a port style. The Familia Zuccardi 2008 Malbec Malamado Port is made from grapes grown in the Mendoza region of Argentina. The wine  is very rich and fruit forward with the deep chocolate and berry characteristics of a Malbec. It is a very well balanced wine with some subtle hints of figs and nuts. The finish is long and velvety and would be a great desert wine after any dinner, or as an accompaniment to a rich desert alone.

The Pairing: This pairing definitely helped warm up this cold winter day. The rich smooth taste of the port balance really well with the complexity and peppery smoky cigar. The Pucho Habano Colorado cigar really was the perfect cigar for this afternoon and pairing it with this rich Malamado Malbec Port was a paring I would definitely try again.

Not only was this a very good pairing but not a bad value either. Now the Pucho cigars currently are only available though their website Pucho Cigars. The cigar retail for $15.00 and come in a bamboo tube and burlap sack. The wine is more readily available and retails for anywhere from $18 to $22.00 a bottle.

So, I would highly recomend this pairing and either the Pucho cigar or the Familia Zuccardi 2008 Malbec Malamado port on it's own. You won't be disappointed.

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Thank you for your interest. Enjoy!