You’ve undoubtedly noticed that, in recent years, we’ve incorporated more wine into the Perfect Pairings section. Nothing in Cigar Snob happens by chance. We’d been going pretty heavy on craft beer and brown spirits until a good friend and Spanish winemaker asked, in his Spanish accent and lisp, “¿Pero qué está pasando, tío?” He wanted to know why we seemed to be ignoring the wine category in our pairings.
Vicente Peñalba, winemaker at Finca Torremilanos in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain, was right. We immediately moved to correct the situation and started pairing wines and cigars, quite heavily as a matter of fact. Almost two years to the day later, he came calling again. This time he was armed with a more specific request; he was in Miami and asked that we meet him, bringing a collection of strong cigars with plenty of pepper, earth and wood notes with us.
La Flor Dominicana 1994
The LFD 1994 threw lots of pepper and spice the Cyclo’s way, and the wine handled it beautifully. In fact, as the cigar started to warm up and the wine started to open, something amazing happened: chocolate! Loads of it started to become apparent with every puff and then reinforced with every sip. The chocolate was accompanied by rich spice, grape jam, and a balancing acidity in the wine. Once again, our friend Vicente was right and we were thrilled he was.