Scotch, Cognac, Bourbon. Those are the libations typically associated with cigar smoking. Flavorful, able to hold their own against the full taste of a cigar. While I occasionally indulge in hard liquor, I am a wine girl at heart and prefer a great glass of wine with my cigars. When I find a good “cigar wine” I am thrilled.
So far my success has come only with red wine. I have yet to find a white that is not over powered by a cigar. Currently my two favorites are Menage A Trois and the Chateau St. Michelle Merlot. The latter, I discovered in a very unlikely place.
I attended the Food and Wine Festival at The Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, NY in March. I went to a wine seminar hosted by the one and only Kevin Zraly from the Windows On The World Wine School. We tasted 10 or 12 wines that day and toward the end we tasted this Merlot. We swirled the wine in our glass with our hand over the glass, lifted our hand and buried our nose in the glass. We were told to shout out what we smelled. While all the other “good kids” in class shouted appropriate things like blackberries, cherries or chocolate, I shouted “tobacco!”.
I expected to be chastised for my comment, but instead, I was praised and told that the vineyard was planted by a tobacco company and that some tobacco plants were actually planted on the property and I did indeed smell tobacco. “Yipee!” A wine that will work with a cigar! And I said that out loud as well, much to the surprise of Mr. Zraly.
The next time I was at the liquor store, I bought a bottle and I was not disappointed. I have introduce many people to this wine to enjoy with a cigar and all agree it is a perfect match. I would love to hear comments on other wines to try with cigars. Please share!