Make the Right Champagne and Cigar Choice for New Year's Eve [EXCLUSIVE]
What will you cut and light when you pop the cork on New Year's Eve? People may agonize over champagne choices, but cigars don't always get commensurate attention. Fortunately, Vin lee, CEO of the Beverly Hills Cigar Club, was on hand to provide his recommendations for the biggest party night of the year. Below are his top five cigar and champagne pairings, designed to make your first sip and puff of 2011 ideal.
Lee is particularly excited about the new year. "Now is the time for the world to celebrate its recovery and success," he said. "For the New Year, from Dubai to Paris and from New York to Beverly Hills, it is time for the world to rejoice in what we have and who we are. Coming together with a glass of bubbly and a fine cigar, let's welcome 2011."
Let's take a look on what's on the Beverly Hills Cigar Club's list:
Cigar: Goldwin LOUIXS Rosado
Lee suggests that you drink the 1997 Salon Blanc de Blancs Les Mesnil-sur-Oger in a tulip-shaped glass instead of a champagne flute to enhance the "rich, complex aromas and its impeccable, lingering finish." The LOUIXS, at $50, is a pricey cigar, but it rounds out a true luxury experience that will last up to two hours. Noted Lee, "The '97 Salon Blanc is the Belle of the Ball of the Beverly Hills Cigar Club wine cabinet this year. Taking your time with a LOUIXS will bring out the sweet complexities drained from the grape leaving a hint of elegance on your tongue from the mahogany leaf."
Champagne: Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie '85
Cigar: Arturo Fuente Opus X Perfexion
The Charles Heidsieck comes with notes of "almonds, hazelnuts and rich fruit on the palate," Lee explained, adding that it's a "warm wine that has matured very well over the years." He recommended smoking the Arturo Fuente Opus X Perfexion with it because of its full-bodied strength and rich, robust flavor. "Opus X and I are old dear friends. Champagne Charlie recently made my acquaintance at a red carpet after party," said Lee. "What a perfect way to ring in the New Year with new and old friends alike."
Champagne: Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or Grand Cuvee '98
Cigar: Padron Anniversary 1964 Series "A"
The 1998 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or Grand Cuvee consists of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – 50 percent each – providing a crisp flavor and a well-balanced finish. Smoke the Padron Anniversary 194 Series "A" with this to enjoy "a lush draw that saturates the entire palate with complex layers of spice, nut and wood flavors before a toasty finish."
"They say the richest man has the poorest palate yet the fullest belly, but the poorest man has the richest palate from his empty belly," Lee said. "Whetting that appetite with this Grand Cuvee, then quenching that hunger with the '64 Padron, will make anyone feel like a rich man, but still leave coin in their pocket for Chateaubriand with portobellas."
Champagne: Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose Champagne
Cigar: Davidoff Zino Platinum Crown Series Rocket
The Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose features berry and watermelon notes and shows intensity and length, according to Lee, who suggests smoking the Zino with it. This cigar is a thick torpedo with a unique aesthetic feature: it forms a large, solid ash as it burns down.
"A winning combination for everyone, Veuve Clicquot is a dance of the senses, igniting your taste buds and tickling your tongue, allowing the Davidoff Zino's smooth melody to gently rock you to sleep after the ball drops in Times Square," noted Lee. "Many BHCC members entertain with this pairing as both products are so very readily available and an affordable luxury."
Champagne: Taittinger Brut La Francaise
Cigar: Macanudo 1968 Toro
According to Wine Enthusiast, the Taittinger Brut La Francaise is, "...almost the essence of Champagne. Crisp, rich and complex." Meanwhile, the Macanudo 1968 is dark with wood and cedar flavors, not to mention notes of toast and black cherry. "Unbutton the Kiton, kick off the Tatinos, loosen the Bijan, and with Taittinger in one hand and hers in the other, walk the beaches at midnight New Years Eve," said Lee. "On this night, she'll even appreciate the '68 Macanudo on your kiss."