Ten Champagne and Cigar Pairings for the Holiday Season
Nothing compares to the perfect pairing of champagne and a cigar. Too often, cigars wind up with dark liquors, their natural partners. Rum, port, scotch and cognac are the norm for an after-dinner smoke -- not champagne. With the holiday season coming, of course, the preferred beverage will likely bubble, so finding the right cigars for the top libation will be crucial.
Fortunately, Vin Lee, CEO of the Beverly Hills Cigar Club, has agreed to help us out. As you prepare for the new year, take a look at the cigar and champagne pairings that he recommends, with both ubiquitous and rare products on the list. Lee says, "In this day and age, not everyone can afford a $50 cigar and a $300 bottle of champagne," said Lee. "Complementing a wonderful glass of champagne with a great cigar for the holidays is something everyone should be able to enjoy."
BHCC's 2010 Top 10 Champagne and Cigar Pairings are:
Beverly Hills Cigar Club calls the 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal a seductive Cristal of the highest level: proud, rich and luxurious. The LOUIXS is a cigar for the truly special occasion. Made from rare Nicaraguan Rosado leaf, it delivers two hours of smoking bliss.
Lee: "An evening with Cristal and LOUIXS would be a dance of smoke and bubbles that would dazzle the most demanding audience."
2. Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blanc Flower Bottle '99 (750 ML) paired with Arturo Fuente Opus X Perfecxion
This combo is a Shanken darling, with the champagne snagging a 90 rating in Wine Spectator and the Opux X picking up a 91 in Cigar Aficionado. The powerful '99 Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blanc Flower Bottle entices the nose with yogurt and yeast, coming together to form an amazing taste and luxurious texture. It's the perfect fit for the robust Opus X.
Lee: "Perrier Jouet delivers sexy femininity in a flower bottle while a Fuente Opus X roars back in a masculine growl. Combining the two is love making for the senses."
3. Moet & Chandon Champagne Brut Rose Imperial (750 ML) paired with Padron Anniversary 1964 Series "A"
This Moet & Chandon champagne puts the region's best foot forward and is sure to delight. Put it together with one of my favorite cigars, the Padron '64, and you're guaranteed a night to remember. Look for the cigar's spice, nut and wood flavors to dovetail perfectly with this champagne.
Lee: "A worldly pairing of titan brands."
4. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvee (750 ML) paired with Davidoff Zino Platinum Crown Series Rocket
Two intense flavors become one in this pairing. Despite being slightly light and mild, the Zino Platinum isn't short on taste, which will be complemented by the rich Bollinger Special Cuvee. The Zino's torpedo shape is a bit festive, perfect for the last cigar of the year.
Lee: "Polishing off a Bollinger with a Zino smoke is the culmination of James Bond enjoying a legendary bubbly with Europe's finest cigar. All that's missing is the Aston Martin and the girl."
5. Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut '98 (750 ML paired with Montecristo White Churchill
Both the Piper Heidsieck champagne and Montecristo cigar offer complex, refined flavors that end on a light note. Little in life is so perfectly synchronized!
Lee: "Just like Altadis proclaims, 'White goes with everything.' The Churchill Montecristo draws out Piper Heidseick's bold legacy and will cap off 2009 with style."
6. Domaine Carneros Brut Rose (750 ML) paired with Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Illusion
The NV Domaine Carneros Brut Rose Cuvée de la Pompadour is a liquid homage to Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress. She gets the props for introducing champagne to the court. Keep her in mind when you enjoy the sophistication of the Ashton VSG with its dark and oily wrapper and peppery notes, zing of citrus and coffee finish.
7. Deutz Champagne Brut Classic (750 ML) paired with Macanudo 1968 Toro
A dark cigar with plenty of cedar, the Toro fits nicely with one of the most lauded Champagne houses. The only thing missing is a fantastic steak in a smoke-filled room ... wait, you'll have that last part!
8. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (750 ML) paired with Rocky Patel Decade The Forty Six
The crisp, full-flavored Brut is perfectly paired with the exciting, stylish Rocky Patel Decade. The box-pressed cigar and yellow label add a sense of fun without intruding on an evening of elegance.
9. Chandon Spark Pinot Noir Brut Reserve (750 ML) paired with CAO LX2 Toro
Enjoy what Wine Enthusiast calls "one of the best Chandon bubblies" with the dark, robust LX2. The draw can be a bit tight, but the leather and coffee flavors make it worth the effort.
10. Mumm Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Cuvee M (750 ML) paired with Don Tomas Cameroon Perfecto 1
Two gold medals at the 2009 San Francisco International Wine Competition make the local fave a great choice for your year-end party, and the peppery Don Tomas adds a bit of a thrill to your taste buds.