From comparable creation and ageing processes to being a luxury collectable, there are a lot of similarities between cigars and wine. With similarities comes the potential to form a great pairing, and cigars and wine can offer just that. We take a look at how you can create a great pairing.
How Does Pairing Work?
The general rule of pairing should come into play here – pairing like with like. The stronger wines get paired with the stronger cigars, and the milder smokes go with the lighter wines. You can then work with the flavours present in each to find complimentary pairings.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Pairing for more ideas on how to pair with cigars.
Red Wine and Cigars
Pairing cigars with red wine is typically the most popular pairing type for wine. Red wine tends to be aromatic and fuller in flavour, making it a good idea to pair with medium to full-bodied cigars.
Red wine can have slightly bitter notes present within each sip, which will complement the rich smokiness of your cigar.
With all pairings, matching or complementary flavours are necessary to make the two items work well together. When it comes to wine and cigars, finding flavours that complement can be easier than other pairings, as both should detail notes of their subtler flavours on their labels or descriptions.
For example, wines with a sweeter, cherry taste may work well with a cigar with hints of almond. An earthier wine will require a full-bodied, cigar with hints of pepper or leather to compete flavour-wise.
White Wine and Cigars
White wine tends to be quite delicate and fresh tasting, making it slightly harder to pair with cigars than other types of wine. However, if you have a light-bodied smoke, then a white wine will work wonderfully with it.
Pairing a white wine with a lighter cigar will ensure that the flavours do not overpower each other, allowing the delicious subtleties of each to shine through.
Rose Wine and Cigars
Rose wine offers the drinker traits of both red and white wine, making it a beverage that can work with a wider range of cigars. Typically best paired with medium-bodied cigars, rose offers complexity of flavour and fruity notes that can work with an assortment of smokes.
Fortified Wine and Cigars
Fortified wines – such as Port, Sherry and Madeira – are excellent choices for pairing with cigars. This type of wine will typically have a higher alcohol content and be a lot sweeter tasting than regular wines. This sweetness works well with cigars that feature oaky, spicy, or nutty flavours.
Fortified wines also work well with cigars due to the time it takes to smoke and drink. Smoking a cigar properly can take an hour or more, so you need a drink that can be sipped on over the course of an evening. A glass or two of Sherry or Port would be perfect for this!
Should You Use Young Wine or Aged Wine?
Following the ‘like-with-like’ pairing rule, young wine should be drunk with newer cigars, and aged wines should be drunk with cigars that have been matured.
Aged wines tend to be stronger in terms of taste, with bolder aromas. Therefore, it needs an equally bold and strong smoke to go with it; which is what makes aged cigars so perfect for it.
Should You Pair Cigars With Dry Wine or Sweet Wine?
Again, this is dependent on the cigar you want to pair it with. Sweet wine tends to be more delicate, with sweet aromas, making it work better with light or medium cigars.
Dry wine is great for medium and full-bodied cigars, as they tend to be stronger in flavour.
Both dry wine and smoking cigars can leave your mouth feeling dry, so make sure to drink a little water alongside this pairing to keep your palette fresh.
Which wines and cigars would you pair together? Let us know by leaving a comment below with your suggestions!