Unique Wine Pairings: Wine and Cigars

Tradition is a good thing.

It’s comforting and familiar. Classic wine pairings such as cabernet sauvignon and steak or pinot noir and salmon are no different. But there are other things that wine pairs well with besides food. And we here at Ultra Wine Racks & Cellars are going to prove it to you. Let’s talk about an unusual pairing: wine and cigars.

wine cigars pairings unusual red cabernet sauvignon zinfandel pinot noir maduro ultra wine racks

Wine and Cigars: A Beautiful Mix

If you’ve never heard of wine and cigar pairing, it’s no surprise. Wine aficionados have developed a stigma about pairing wine and cigars. Many sommeliers and wine experts feel that cigar flavors can overwhelm the gentler aromas and flavors of wine. We’ve combed the web and collected some expert opinion on the subject, however. And the news is good.

First, experts agree that red wines are generally better to pair with wine than whites. Bold, fruity reds will complement the smoky spice of a cigar. They won’t disappear into the background like a milder red or a white wine would, either. It is possible to pair light-bodied cigars with white wines. Generally, however, you’ll want red wine. California zinfandel, Australian or South African shiraz, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and tawny port all work well.

Wine-Cigar Pairings

Tommy Zman Zarzecki lists ten excellent wine and cigar pairings in a 2018 article on Cigar Advisor:

  • Arturo Fuente Don Carlos and shiraz
  • Aging Room Solera and pinot noir
  • EP Carrillo La Historia and cabernet sauvignon
  • Gran Habano #5 Corojo and zinfandel
  • Java by Drew Estate and tawny port
  • Tatuaje Miami and zinfandel
  • Inferno Flashpoint Maduro and shiraz
  • Trinidad Esteli by Plasencia and cabernet sauvignon
  • Rocky Patel 20th Anniversary and tawny port
  • Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real and pinot noir

Sommelier Brahm Callahan, who worked on a tobacco plantation in his teens, has his own list of wine and cigar pairings, listed in a 2015 article on Eater.

  • Rocky Patel Decade Torpedo and Rioja (La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial 2005)
  • Davidoff Classic No. 2 and riesling (Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Spatlese 2013)
  • Padron Imperial and Amarone (Tomasso Bussola, TB 2007)
  • Arturo Fuente Anejo Extra Viejo 55 T and blended red (Continuum 2010)

Callahan recommends steering clear of low-intensity, light-bodied wines when pairing with cigars. Chardonnay, pinot grigio, gamay, and New World pinot noir aren’t up to the task.

These are merely suggestions, however. The fun of pairing wine and cigars is that you can go out, buy up your favorite cigars and favorite wines, and experiment until you hit that perfect combination.

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Start Tasting Today!

Wine, as we know, tastes fine on its own. But there’s nothing like pairing wine with food. Food, however, isn’t the only thing wine pairs with. Wine goes with good company, beautiful scenery, and a number of other creature comforts. That includes cigars. If you’re a cigar aficionado and you’re just getting into the world of wine, or if you love wine but have never paired it with a cigar, the time has come. The leaves and the vines are calling. Buy a bottle of good firm red, purchase a spicy full-bodied cigar, sit outside on a beautiful evening, and taste something new.

Stay tuned for more great posts about enjoying wine right here on our blog. Be sure to stop by our website to see our latest innovative wine racking solutions. And as always, happy sipping!


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