Smokin' Ladies Cigar Club - Knoxville, Tennessee
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Have Cigar Will Travel

Pairing Cigars

As I shared in a previous post, cigar bars are a great place for networking. The conversations are always vibrant and varied. One of my most recent visits to one of my haunts in San Francisco (The Occidental) found me in a conversation about pairing wines and cigars. I was tasting a new pinot noir that they had just brought in when one of the patrons came up for a drink. He made a simple statement - "I would not have imagined that wine would go with cigars."

There has also been on ongoing thread on Cigars and Professionals on LinkedIn on just this topic. And the comments are varied - the constants are bourbon, scotch, and whiskey. But it was interesting to hear from those who enjoy beer as well.

From my perspective, it's just like the cigar you choose - it's what you enjoy. For me, I have had cigars with beer (mostly ales, porters, or stouts as I'm not an IPA fan), cider, red wine, port wine, champagne, and of course, bourbon, scotch and whiskey. I am often asked what I usually drink with cigars, and I really don't have a "regular" drink. It depends on my mood, the cigar, the bar's libation selection, among other things. But a few that I tend to go to include:

  • Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
  • Templeton Rye
  • High West Double Rye
  • The Balvenie Caribbean Cask
  • A good Tawny Port

Back to the comment that was made, red wine actually pairs very nicely with cigars. Personally I prefer cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo, petite syrah, or zinfandel - especially since I tend to smoke full-bodied, spicy cigars.

But the key is - pair with your cigar your drink of choice - it's all about what you like!

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