Although spirits and cigars seem to be the perfect match, wine and cigars can form a love match if you know how to combine them.
They can be tricky to pair but there are no hard rules, just basic principles to get the most out of both. So, grab your corkscrew and your lighter and let’s start pairing.
Red wine pairing
Because there are as many red wines as there are cigars, this makes pairing an adventure. One choice for wine by cigar aficionados is Chianti, a classic wine no matter your cigar choice.
More specifically, pair a Tempranillo Rioja with its leathery tannins with a full-bodied Nicaraguan cigar, which can stand up to the earthy wine.
White wine pairing
White wine is delicate and paired with cigars less frequently. It is best matched with light to medium-bodied cigars.
This way the taste of wine and the cigar will not overlap. A mild cigar with hints of coffee and cinnamon pairs well with well-oaked chardonnays. Light up a Pilotico Pepe Mendez, a honeyed, medium-bodied cigar, with a bottle of 2015 Penfolds Yattarna chardonnay, which spent eight months in barriques (oak barrels) to reach ultimate woodiness.
Rosé wine has the qualities of both white and red with a unique aroma. It’s light with hints of pink grapefruit and raspberries and can be combined with many cigars, especially medium-bodied like Cohiba Coronas Especiales. The cigar softens the acidity and brings out a creaminess in the wine.
For a light and beautiful pairing, pop the cork on a Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial Rosé and let its effervescence enhance the stunning flavors of a Honduran cigar, like a Camacho Corojo. It’s a self-indulgent pairing but, then again, why not?
Sweet wine pairings
Sweet wine is a pleasant choice and can work smoothly in pairings. These are best paired with light- to medium-bodied cigars.
The Moscato d’Asti wine is an alternative white wine that has become a popular cigar vino as it is mildly carbonated and deliciously sweet. Choose a nutty, spicy cigar to avoid competing with the sweetness like a Partagas Black Label.