Unconventional Wine Pairings
We’re back with another set of wine pairings from our friends WTSO.com. This time… we’re changing it up a bit! When I was in Orlando a couple months ago hanging out with Matt Hunt of FQ Cigars, he introduced me to a pairing I never would have thought of...Rosé. Yes, you read that right, the light, fruity and chilled wine with crazy labels is good with cigars. And not just any cigar; dark, rich and full bodied sticks primarily. You see, there is something about the juxtaposition of a rich and heavy cigar and a light, crisp and clean wine: they work in opposites FOR each other. The rose works as a palate cleanser and helps to highlight those darker undertones in the cigar and even some more nuanced notes you wouldn’t have realized otherwise.
WTSO sent a PERFECT example of a bright, delicate and crisp rose:
Ippolito Ciro Rosé Mabilia 2019
This wine is made from Gaglioppo, an Italian grape, with a brilliant rose color with hues of violet. It has a delicate and fruity aroma with clear notes of sour black cherries and roses, followed with liquid minerals, cranberry, and salty ocean air. The taste is fresh, delicate, and very persistent with bone-dry and crisp flavors of tart red berries, saline, and orange zest.
Recommended Cigar Pairing:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Filler: Honduras & Connecticut Broadleaf
This next Rosé [you gotta trust me fam!] comes from Italy and brings a little more depth in flavor to the previous one. Think darker fruits - which to me pair really well with Aganorsa Corojo and Criollo tobaccos. These tobaccos give off a very sweet, almost cocoa and caramel profile with just a touch of spice. Paired with a sweet and crisp wine, its a great balance of flavors.
Saveurs du Temps Costieres de Nimes Rosé 2019
From the Rhône Valley, this rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah presents an intense nose of red fruit, raspberries, and blackberries. There’s an aroma of range marmalade, rose petals, and wildflowers. It’s ample and generous on the palate with a silky texture. Prominent notes of red currants and white and black pepper are followed by a refreshing finish.
Check out this video from WTSO’s partnered Master Sommelier, Laura Maniec.
Full Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLtMuAvZBBY
Recommended Cigar Pairing: HVC San Isidro
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Last, but certainly not least is the flagship of this lineup. Vintage Champagne at its finest. Like I mentioned earlier about the rosé, lighter wines have an ability to cleanse your palate every sip - even more so, the bubbles from champagne amp that up even more. You can smoke cigars in the range of medium-full bodied with this wine. The bubbles reset your palate each sip and help you pull those delicate and nuanced flavors out of lighter wrappers and lower priming filler tobaccos.
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2009
Vintage Champagne, in general, is a real treat - but vintage Cristal sits in a category of its own. In 1876, Tsar Alexander II commissioned Louis Roederer to create a special cuvee in clear glass crystal bottles; thus, the legendary Cristal was born.
In this Cristal 2009, there’s an effortless elegance and balance with a silky, delicate, and ethereal texture. Through the yellow-gold color, find amber tints with persistent, brilliant and lively bubbles. The bouquet of Grands Crus is subtle with notes of citrus compote and candied apricots and evokes the sweetness of honeysuckle.
Recommended Cigar Pairing: Serino Taino
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Corojo 99