Corks & Matches first publication in Talk of the Town Magazine!
Vino E Sigaro
Introducing our guide to fine wines and cigars
WRITTEN BY: MIKE DUCH AND STEPHANIE INZALACO
As we sat in the cigar bar at The Brick House prior to the My Father Cigars dinner I was hosting, a customer approached my partner Steph and I with a gift: two supposedly authentic Cuban Cohibas. I couldn’t help smirking as I looked at the band. These were fakes. Steph lit hers and quickly remarked that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Once the customer left, I broke the cigar apart and revealed to my guests that it was actually made with short filler tobacco. I took this as an opportunity to educate them a little bit: Nine out of 10 Cubans in the United States are actually fake. Naturally, this led to the conversation of the Cuban embargo being lifted. All I could do was laugh. Aside from the fact that Cuban soil has endured decades of abuse, it will take years for Cuba and the United States to enact import-export laws that would allow for any serious cigar trade.
Speaking of Cubans, famed cigar maker Don Pepin Garcia has been building a cigar empire under the My Father Cigars label for the past decade. A local My Father Cigars rep attended our sit-down steak dinner that featured three premium Nicaraguan cigars, mozzarella imported from Brooklyn, Asian calamari and enough porterhouses for two to feed an army. The highlighted cigars were the My Father Connecticut, the Don Pepin Cuban Classic, and the 2012 Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year – the Flor De Las Antillas, which is the subject of the inaugural edition of Vino e Sigaro.
The medium-bodied Nicaraguan puro has truly made an impact on the cigar landscape. Rated a 96 by Cigar Aficionado, the Flor de las Antillas was a hit throughout the night and many customers left with a box or two. Any type of cigar smoker from rookie to expert can enjoy the white pepper, lavender and earthy nutmeg tasting notes of this superb stick. If you think Cuban cigars reign supreme and nothing will change your mind about that, then you will be happy to know that this cigar is blended with several Cuban tobacco seeds, adding to its smooth and creamy flavour.
Personally, my palate is constantly changing and evolving. At the time, I tasted this blue Kool-Aid flavour shifting into a birch spice. Imagine gnawing on a birch limb then sipping some Boylan’s Birch Beer to polish it off. Sometimes the craziest comparisons are the most fitting. Throughout the smoke, I detected a bit of a floral component – perhaps orchids and dandelion leaves – with a touch of wasabi on the end.
As I continued to smoke, I experienced a burnt rye toast flavour with a touch a Philadelphia cream cheese. The smoke seemed typically leathery, but after a while, it had me imagining that I was putting a Juicy Couture velour jumpsuit in my mouth (for texture, not taste, I swear). Eventually the floral component of the Flor de las Antillas became more potent, resulting in a mixed berry bowl. It was crisp, yet simple.
My partner Steph chose a 2012 Domaine Bousquet Reserve malbec as the pairing for our cigar dinner. As the night wore on, I switches from sipping George Clooney’s Casamigos Anejo tequila to the well-chosen malbec. The Bousquet family moved its long and prestigious winemaking tradition from France to the foothills of the Andes and has continued to craft excellent wines since 1998.
This malbec is a classic from the Argentine winery and was powerful enough to hold up with the Porterhouse. In my opinion, it could even stand up to a venison or bison dish. The tannins were not overwhelming and the acidity was enjoyable. A dry red like this will always be consumed best with red meats or red sauces. The malbec was well-rounded and contained tasting notes of what I could describe as balsamic reduction glaze and dark chocolate shavings on a raspberry mousse cake. Each sip had a lasting, opulent finish that lingered firmly. It was a perfectly fitting final touch ona night of world-class cigars and great food.
Originally Posted in the Spring 2015 issue of Talk of the Town
Talk of the Town is a gentleman’s lifestyle magazine that exists in the northern Bergen County, NJ region. The magazine contains editorial that focuses on such areas as home theater systems, media, electronics, cars, cigars, technology, premium men’s fashion, men’s health, and unique spirits.