5 Wine and Cigar Pairings to Delight Your Palate
When most people think about pairing alcohol and cigars, they think of spirits like brandy, rum, cognac, and whiskey. But those aren’t the only libations that go well with them. On the contrary, various varieties of wine make excellent accompaniments to cigars.
And if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Wines, much like cigars, come in a variety of styles, flavors, and textures. That means there are endless combinations of the two for aficionados to explore. But some wine varieties pair especially well with certain types of cigars. And while the individual’s tastes may vary, it’s useful to have a roadmap of where to begin the journey. To help, here are five of the best cigar and wine pairings, according to the experts.
Syrah and Cohiba Esplendidos
As any wine enthusiast can tell you, wines made from Syrah grapes tend to be rich, aromatic, and high in alcohol content. And they’re a favorite of wine drinkers who love their bold, full-bodied flavors. In particular, Syrah varietals that hail from Australia — marketed under the name Shiraz — are especially stout.
And their strong flavors make an excellent pairing for cigars with a similar flavor profile. That makes Cohiba Esplendidos a perfect match for them. With strong notes of cherries, salted caramel, and baked apples, their taste mingles beautifully with the peppery black fruit jam notes common in most types of Syrah wine. And together, they’ll create a flavor-packed and luxurious experience you won’t want to miss.
Malbec and La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse
Malbec wines are well known for their smooth and chocolatey taste, often along with pomegranate, plum, and raspberry notes. But they also come with a delightfully peppery finish that makes them stand out as a particularly complex red wine variety. And they make a perfect pairing with La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse cigars.
The latter are high-quality cigars that hail from Nicaragua and are made from select tobaccos harvested in three separate growing regions within the country. They’re known for having a pleasant, earthy taste with hints of cocoa flavor — which resonates with Malbec’s flavor in a way that’s sure to please.
Chardonnay and Pilotico
Chardonnay wines tend to be light and crisp, with flavors reminiscent of lemon and apple or pineapple and papaya, depending on their vintage. Oaked varieties also tend to pick up a vanilla flavor, enhancing their complexity and creating a fuller-bodied wine. But one thing Chardonnays are not is overwhelming. That makes them an excellent match for medium-bodied cigars like a Pilotico Pepe Mendez.
They have a flavor profile that’s often described as woody — with hints of cedar and white pepper. That helps them to pair especially well with oaked Chardonnays, but they also work quite nicely with unoaked varieties, too. The delicate and mellow flavors of the two are complementary, and they’re sufficiently different from one another that they’ll remain distinct and noticeable throughout the experience.
Cabernet Sauvignon and
Romeo y Julieta Eternal
Sometimes, it’s possible to pair a deliciously complex cigar with an equally complex wine without them clashing. And that’s certainly the case when you pair a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Romeo y Julieta Eternal. The former offers a full-bodied taste profile that’s packed with notes of spice, vanilla, dark fruit flavors — and most notably — tobacco.
And the latter brings the complex flavor of baking spices, honey, fruit, and pepper through its blend of rare and aged tobaccos. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear that the two were made specifically for one another. And if you were to insist that it was so, you wouldn’t get many arguments, either.
Dry Riesling and Bolivar Belicosos Finos
Within cigar aficionado circles, the Bolivar Belicosos Finos is something of an acquired taste. It’s a classic Cuban cigar that’s particularly intense. So intense, in fact, that it tends to overwhelm with its strong, earthy, woody aroma and flavor. And with that in mind, you’d think it’s pair well with an equally stout red wine. But unlike the last entry on this list, that would only lead to sharp flavors fighting a futile battle for palate supremacy.
Instead, it’s a good idea to pair the Bolivar Belicosos Finos with a dry Riesling, particularly those hailing from southern Germany. They bring a fresh, acidy flavor profile to the table, complete with strong overtones of zesty lemon and pineapple. On their own, dry Rieslings are often seen as too overwhelming for some — but that’s just what makes them a worthy counterpoint to a bold Bolivar Belicosos Finos. Together, they create a combination that will make an impression you won’t soon forget.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the best part of pairing wines with cigars is that it provides endless room for experimentation. Just as two different cigar makers can produce the same type of cigar with varying results, so too can winemakers produce endless variations of wine using the same types of grapes. And that means you can use the above pairings as a starting point to try and discover the ultimate flavor combination for yourself
The pairings noted here are only the beginning — your Vigilant humidor can also help you to pair unparalleled quality and design with your passion for cigars. Schedule a free virtual consult with one of Vigilant’s sales and design experts to talk all things cigar storage. And with new wine combinations to add a new dimension of flavor — the possibilities are truly endless.
Ck Harrington is a ball-cap-wearing, dog-loving, adventure-seeking content writer. When Ck is not writing content for clients, he spends his time reading, hiking, camping, or doing anything he can with his dogs. For more cigar and spirit reviews visit Cigar.com, an online retailer of premium cigars. Email Ck if you have questions or comments!