Sunday, March 30, 2014

Your Not so Run of the Mill Pairing

There are a lot of things that trigger an idea for a pairing. Sometimes it's the wine, sometimes the cigar, sometimes it's just a thought I had while driving.
This time I happen to come across the wine and the cigar at about the same time.

Since both of them are not your average sampling, I thought that I'd pair them together.
Looking at some vague tasting notes I knew it could work and here is my findings.

Foundry Tobacco Company Xenon

Cigar Box Reserve 2012 Malbec

The Cigar: 
This one is going to be interesting to talk about since there is really no information available on this cigar other
than the tobaccos are a secret. The name of the cigar is Xenon, the 54th element in the periodic table of the elements. It is a part of Foundry Tobacco's Compounds, Elements and Musings line of cigars. It seems a lot of the cigars in this line by Michael Giannini, are limited runs of exotic and different tobaccos that they were able to procure. If you read the cigar box almost every tobacco growing region imaginable is listed, including Mysterioso and "Smoke It". The one thing I do know is that it is a box pressed,  maduro wrapped torpedo that is long on complex flavor. Oh, i can't forget to mention the UFO on the box and cigar band. Why not, right.

It produces a full rich smoke and was constructed very well. No issues with the burn at all. All and all it is a shame that this is a limited production cigar. It is really a good solid medium bodied smoke with all the deep notes you'd expect from a good maduro wrapper.

The Wine:
At first glance this seems like your normal Malbec from Argentina. With a great name to pair with a cigar. I mean how can you go wrong with a wine named Cigar Box?
But then the more I looked into it the more I realized that their process of making this malbec is totally different than most. Starting with the grape is that the Malbec grape is 100% hand picked, destemmed and then only partially crushed. Then the must is cooled down to preserve color and flavor and then fermented in tanks for 10 days.
This wine has a very smooth and long flavor with fruit forwards flavors of deep plum and a smoky finish. The Cigar Box Malbec is very well balanced and can stand up to this maduro cigar very well. It would really pair well with grilled meats and barbecue.

The Pairing:
When I first lit the Xenon, I could tell the pairing was going to go well. The aroma from the wine mixed harmoniously with the smoke from the cigar.

The Malbec gave off this wonderful deep fruity aroma that mixed with the lighter smoke of the cigar. The Xenon didn't put off a lot of smoke but it was very flavorful. The first third of the cigar was a bit unbalanced then once I got passed that it balance out and the sweetness of the maduro wrapper worked in concert with the silky, deep fruit of the Malbec.

Another good thing about this pairing is the price.
The Cigar Box 2012 Malbec is about $12.00 and the Elements Xenon is under $7.00 a stick.

But you really have to hurry because the Foundry Xenon is a limited production, once it's gone, it's gone forever.

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Thank you for your interest. Enjoy!