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Why Sherry?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015

“I had some sherry while I rinsed out my underwear, it’s a little thing I do Mondays and Thursdays.” Sophia Petrillo, The Golden Girls


Sherry: as old school and stiff as ironed out underwear. Too, a nod “To the mothers who left us and are in heaven & to the mothers we shall one day leave behind with our children.” Now that there, gentlepersons, is a toast.

Sherry, in all its marvelous incarnations, serves then as the female yin to the phallic cigar’s overt yang. Balance — what more important part of pairing is there, than balance?

I do not pretend to be a wine expert. However, I do pretend to be a connoisseur of cigars and their surrounding accouterments. Of course I am not pretending. I am simply joking — which might actually be a form of pretending, come to think…

I digress.



Here are some other points to further sway you toward being a newly minted sherry swill-er:

Nothing says class like a twist cap wine.
Fortified wine is the stuff depression era winos are made of.
You can land a dignified sherry offering for about the same price as a bum wine.
Sherry goes extraordinarily well with cheap suits, socks with holes, and late utility bills.

‘Faux class,’ you might respond. To which I’d in turn respond, at the very least ‘five class.’


Let’s explore now a well-earned moniker of sherry — The Whisk(e)y of Wines. Sherry is oft referred to as such, and for reasons linked directly to its lovely cigar pairing tendencies. What it is which you admire of many a whisk(e)y sample can oft be attributed to Finishing.

For the uninitiated, Finishing is a period of time in which whisk(e)y enters a second cask, one previously used in the production of a fortified wine. More often than not, that fortified wine is sherry. The first cask is hardwood and already is in many a cigar. The second cask has fruity floral notes far less inherent to tobacco, and oft needs either introduced or brought out in most cigars. In short, you like smokiness, nuts, a dry sweetness? You sir appreciate a nice copita of sherry.

Remember, pairing is not mimicry, pairing is an enhancement or introduction of notes which are required to find balance.

We see, then, that sherry offers what it is whisk(e)y mostly does. All minus nasal burn and taste bud singes. Because how can you tell me the flavor of a pairing is a wanton success, when ya can’t taste it fully? Beyond that, there is at long last a movement on the near-ish horizon which finds itself admitting to itself that the whisk(e)y grabbing ideal is not only far from ideal, but knee-jerk and vastly unimaginative. Be a part of a movement. Movements are good. Unless they aren’t.

This movement is good.

On a personal note, I prefer sherry over any other adult beverage cigar pairing option because it goes best with accordion music. If you believe me to be joking there, congratulations, you are 49% correct.


The Nuts & Bolts
(a rudimentary primer on how to pair cigars and sherry, now that I have duly convinced ya.)

Volumes can and have been written re: this topic — please allow me to compress all those generations of practices by skilled artisans into a final set of short paragraphs designed to hold your by now surely waning attention.

Oloroso. Remember this variety of sherry. Recall it above Port Wines which can become too delicate to uphold a cigar’s weighted burdens. This will pair quite well, or at least successfully with the majority of stogies. On the spectrum of cigars, Oloroso cuts a wide swath through the fat belly center thereof. Too, it’s a fun point from which to explore, as it can be seen as a hub from which whirls most other sherry variations.

If you tend to smoke offerings of the light-medium to medium scale — Oliva, for instance — consider Amontillado. The stuff of Shakespeare and of Poe. In other words you pansy of a dandy, your middle is lower than are most — Amontillado is yer Oloruso.

There are two exceptions I will trouble you with prior to letting you away to your Costco wine section. (When you’re there, look for the “Dessert Wines” section. Named thusly to avoid the stigma of the F-word, fortified.) Welcome to the ‘Burbs. Where character is a very bad thing to possess.

Exceptions –

Spicy (bold) cigars:
I shall direct you to a sweet Mantilla offering to compliment your Camacho-esque meanderings. While not the strongest sherry, it is among the sweetest. We are not competing here, we are enhancing the notes required for that aforementioned balancing.

Very mild cigars:
require a dry sherry mainly due to the way such a sherry lingers short on the palate. Too, the drink’s crispness does not bludgeon the Connecticut shade, or even double claro stick’s mild nature, into sad submission.


There ya have it. Now go call yer mom, kiss yer wife, then hide from each fine, fine woman with a cigar and sherry pairing. Odes are best played from afar safe distances.

Accordion music, optional.

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Born in Brooklyn New York, Kaplowitz quickly ran away with the circus and somehow landed as a chef in the Chicago and Baltimore areas. He is a published author of poetry and prose, as well as a well seasoned podcaster and radio guy. Among his hobbies Kap counts writing bios of himself in the third person, casino trips, and walking his Dachshund, Ruby Vondella. Please follow him on Twitter @iamkap to be alerted as to his frequent Thrift Store purchases.

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