It’s the New Year! Time to make your resolutions and of course pop the cork on your favorite bottle of bubbly. Although it isn’t one of the classic pairings, a good cigar can pair quite well with a fine bottle of champagne. Think about it, they are both luxury items. At a fancy event in the city, you’d expect the waiter to be handing out the finest champagne, followed by a nightcap with the finest cigars. They go together more than you would think. So let's take a look at some great cigar and champagne match ups.
Champagne Collet Brut Art Deco has received critical acclaim from the top Champagne connoisseurs. It starts with a subtle richness and a crisp clean finish with mixed notes of fruit throughout. A fine pairing for certain Mediterranean and Japanese dishes, Wine Spectator gave this brilliant bouget a 91 rating. I went with the 1502 Emerald for this pairing. For a complex blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos, the Emerald is quite mellow. Its flavors are evident, yet subtle, and maintain a great balance throughout.
Another critically acclaimed bottle is the Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee. With ratings averaging in the high 90s, it is no wonder this is the name you think of when you think fine champagne. It has wonderful fruity notes, such as apples and pears, along with a subtle spice throughout. What else would you pair with the classiest of champagnes than the classiest of cigars? The Grand Cru was only the second non-Cuban Davidoff ever released, yet it was already a portrait of perfection. It is creamy and smooth with wonderful notes of nuts, a bit of a fruity sweetness and a little spice. This is one of the fancier pairings I've ever done... even if I was wearing sweats.
I never knew what a full-bodied champagne tasted like, until I sipped this wonderful Piper-Heidesieck. It is bold and bursting with rich fruit flavors, such as plums and pears, with a little ginger spice as well. El Rey del Mundo the king of Honduran cigars, was a fine choice. The rich, leather notes of the cigar blend effortlessly with the fruity nuances of the champagne for a rich, delightful experience.
When the original Grand Vintage Rose was released in 2006, it was praised for its rich floral and fruit notes. The 2008 builds on this by the addition of a much spicier overall theme to it. This combination makes it incredibly complex and a favorite among true champagne connoisseurs. The Ingot Rose From H. Upmann matches up perfectly, with a Dominican Habano wrapper adding a lovely spice to a profile already rich with sweetness, leather, and nuts.
Another high-90s-rated gem, this Grand Brut from Perrier-Jouet is the epitome of complexity. Each sip delivers sparkling, vivacious notes of apples and yellow fruit along with a subtle hint of vanilla, nuts, and spice as it finishes. The medium-bodied MBombay Kesara offers up a complex profile due to the intricate blend of tobaccos used. Its Ecuadorian wrapper gives it a wonderful spice, while its Dominican filler adds in rich notes of nuts. It is the addition of the Peruvian tobacco into the blend that adds a dash of sweetness that really completes the profile.