Monday, February 7, 2011

Wine and Cigars

I, as well as you, have read that there is a perfect beverage to have with your cigar. The list is quite long and as to be expected filled with different drinks. Scotch, rum, port, cognac, beer, wine, and others are all on the list and all different. Although I love having a cigar with a mojito or rum and coke, I find the best pairs are through certain red wines. I tend to smoke more fuller body cigar, and because of that I tend to lean towards wines with more body and flavors. Some of my favorite reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.

Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the most well known of the four wines I listed and there are great Cabs being made all over the world. Cabernet's are very high in tannins and have a wide spectrum of flavors with oak, berries, spice, and much much more. Cab's are probably the most common of reds I drink, and the list of great ones is long. Some of my favorites are Bodega Catena Zapata Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza, Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, Marin Ray Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District, Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello, and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23. Most of these are from Napa, but I am not limited to them.

Malbec's are amongst my favorite of reds. Very jammy/fruity and great with red meat. The tannins are high in these wines and are very woody and earthy. Rustic is a good word to describe a good Malbec. Most Malbec's are made in Argentina, but they are being made elsewhere in South America as well. I always try a new Malbec no matter what when I have the opportunity and each are so unique. Some of my favorites are Alamos Malbec,  Bodega Catena Zapata Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza, Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Catena Alta Mendoza, Conquista Malbec, Gascon Malbec, 

Shiraz wines are becoming more and more my favorit, after Malbec's they bring a strength and flavor I love with a cigar. Most Shiraz wines I have are medium in body and have notes of black cherry, chocolate, cloves, pepper, plums, and firm tannins. The Shiraz's I am drinking are from Australia and South America, Conquista Shiraz, Kangarilla Road Vineyards Shiraz, and Layer Cake Shiraz are two that stand out.    

Zinfandel wines are really a treat. Like Shiraz's they are medium in tannins and I have found some of my favorite Zinfandel's are from California. Zinfandel's tend to give off nice berry flavors and spice. The term jammy is often given to Zinfandel wines because of the concentrated flavors are similar to that in jam. Spice notes picked up are all of those Chinese 5 Spice, anise, cinnamon, cloves, and more. Some of my favorite Zinfandel's are Ridge Vineyards Geyserville, Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys, Ridge Vineyards York Creek, Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel, and Titus Zinfandel.

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