Saturday, November 15, 2014

Moon over Honduras

Yes, it's really been a while since I have done a real cigar/wine pairing.
Not that I haven't tried some wonderful combinations lately, I just haven't had the time to write about them.

If you follow my Instagram images, you see that I post a cigar of the day. Normally its a cigar I am photographing and trying that day. The cigar in this pairing entry is a cigar I tried for the first time just over a month ago when Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley cigars visited the studio and the wine I discovered at a wine tasting of local Pennsylvania wines this past summer.

CIGAR: Alec Bradley Coyol

Wine: Moon Dancer Vineyards, Blue Moon Port 

The Cigar: The Alec Bradley Coyol was introduced at this years IPCPR trade show. Coyol gives homage tot the farm in Honduras where the wrapper is grown.
Something interesting about this cigar is that is has a double binder from both Honduras and  the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua. Combine that with a filler consisting of tobaccos from Esteli and Condega in Nicaragua and Trojes in Honduras and you have a medium to full bodied cigar that has a bit of spice in front and a very smooth and balance finish. This is a great late afternoon smoke that is complex and inviting.

 The Wine: I have really been surprised at the quality of wines coming out of PA in the last couple of years. The growing season was perfect to produce grapes that had more complexity than before. Moon Dancer Vineyards has taken advantage of this with a few of there wines and surprisingly created their Blue Moon port that wasn't overly sweet. I am very skeptical of port wines made in regions know for sweeter grapes but Moon Dancer was able to balance out some of the sweetness of the grape with hints of dark berry and fig. The only draw back to this wine is it doesn't cellar well. So but it and drink it, why keep it for later.

The Pairing: The spicy and earthy flavors of the Alec Bradley Coyol really balance off the sweetness of the Moon Dancer Port. It didn't overshadow the port and let the berry and fig notes come through. The cigar had a really smooth finish which helped the wine open up.

I will have this cigar again but probably with another wine, definitely a port but not Moon Dancer. While this pairing went well, I think a more mature port would really shine against this complex cigar.

As far as value, the Coyol robusto is about $8.00 while the Moon Dancer Port runs $32, but is only available through the vineyard.

Alan Rubin fooling around in the studio