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YES! White wine can be paired with cigars!

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014

Untitled1If you ask a cigar aficionado what kind of drink pairs well with cigars they will likely answer: Scotch, cognac, wine, coffee, beer or water. More specifically, when it comes to wine, Oaky red wine or Port wine is usually mentioned since they are often associated with having a “dark fruit and smoky chocolate/coffee touch” that fits perfectly with a cigar’s aroma. Personally, I think white wine and especially dessert wines can be a revelation!

On this sunny afternoon in Hong Kong, I decided to open a bottle of late harvest white wine from Mission Estate Winery paired with a Bolivar Belicosos Finos. Mission Estate is the oldest winery in New Zealand, established in 1851.  I like their white wines for their stable quality especially this particular late harvest full of fresh aromas. The Bolivar is a very good, ‘regular’ cigar with a nice start of soft notes that remain constant with a woody fragrance and spicy taste.

When you enjoy these two beauties together, it produces a ‘double effect’.  First the fresh acidity of the wine comes to appease the strong attack of the cigar, and then the wine sweetness adds to the creaminess of the cigar. No doubt the match is great, different from Red wine, but still very interesting and delicate!

Untitled2Generally speaking, white wines will have a light taste and more than a hint of a citrus flavor. When you try to pair this with a strong cigar from your humidor, you might find that the cigar simply overpowers the wine. One of the things that you can do to try to come up with a good cigar combination for your Chardonnay or other white wine is to look at the wrappers on your cigars. When you choose a cigar that has a darker wrapper, chances are that it’s going to be a strong cigar. This will likely be too powerful for the wine, and you won’t enjoy that white as you normally would.

So experiment!  Don’t shy away from trying to find the right pairing with your whites.  You won’t be disappointed when you find the right combination!

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Jean-Charles MAURICE, usually known as "JC" or "Mister Wine", is a wine lover and passionated by all steps from the seeds we put in the soil to the liquid we put in our mouth. Native from a French traditional farmer family, he almost start to drink wine in same time as milk! Chairman of Polyway Group and creator of the “French Wine Ambassador” brand in Asia, he imports and sells French wine in Asia for almost 10 years now. Eminent judge in Chinese Wine and Spirit Awards, consultant and writter for several magazines, his knowledge is highly recognized in wine industry, yet JC is very approachable and always find a simple way to explain the technicalities of a very complex culture. Owner of restaurant and wine bars in China, he loves to share his passion everyday with different people! Let me finish with a sentence of JC himself : "I will never pretend to be expert or professional, wine for me is Passion! It’s family and friends, it’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art, culture, tradition and an art of living!"

One Comment

  1. Great read and an eye opener. Will need to at least try once.

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