First time wine shopping

Wine and Cigars - 1

Have you ever tried to pick up a new hobby only to be intimidated by it? Chances are very good that you have experienced this before, just like I have. When I first got into cigars, I found it very difficult to jump right in. I found that there was a tremendous number of things I needed to know; like how to store my cigars, how to cut, how to light, how to actually smoke them, the list goes on and on.

The best way I found to get over this hurdle was to jump right in and ask for help. Because I knew few people personally that smoked cigars, I sought information online. Before long I was learning about cigars in leaps and bounds.

I started the cycle all over again just recently. I’ve never been much of a wine drinker, but I thought I would give it a try. Unlike with the cigars, before hitting the store I asked for help online. My avenue of information this time around was twitter.

In a matter of minutes I had a shopping list of about ten different wines and was off shopping. Armed with a list of things to try, I walked into the store and couldn’t help but be intimidated by the huge selection. I walked up and down the isles for about fifteen minutes before realizing that I was never going to be able to find the wines I had on my list.

Asking for help was not an option. The store was mobbed with people and the cash registers were manned by all of the staff on duty. I folded up my list, put it in my pocket and tried to find a couple of bottles that I “may” have heard of in the past.

When my shopping trip was complete, I jumped back on twitter to tell my story and asked for suggestions on what type of wine to try first. It was suggested that I kick off the night with the Yellowtail Shiraz. My next task was to select a cigar to pair with it. I gave it some thought and decided to go with a Joya de Nicaragua Celebracion.

The experience was a positive one. The spiciness of the cigar played well with the savory flavor of the wine. With one cigar and wine pairing under my belt, I can only hope my other choices will go as smoothly as my first.

What easily attainable wine would you suggest
to someone new to the hobby, such as myself?

9 comments On First time wine shopping

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  • Walt,

    I started pairing ports with cigars a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. I usually buy Fonseca Bin 27 (I think).

    I am also not much of a wine drinking but I do like Pinot Noir. There are a couple of good ones that are actually NOT easy to find and are pretty expensive but if you find them, pick up a bottle.

    Foley Pinot Noir
    Melville Pinot Noir

    Both are in the 20 to 30 dollar range but I think both are very good.

  • Walt,

    A nice Shiraz I had the other night was called Nine Stones. It was a 2006 Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in Australia. Great wine. It seems to be pretty widely available and ran me about $12 a bottle. It has a nice fruit character like plums and blackberries and the tannins were not real heavy at all. You might want to give it a shot.

    As far as what cigar to pair, I don’t know but when I drink my next bottle of Nine Stones I will let you know what I smoke and how well they marry.

  • Glad that you also started to test this amazing pairing! I’ve been combining cigars and wine for over 1 year now and achieved very good results. Unfortunately the offer is completely different in Europe and I can hardly recommend you something that you can find in the US, but if you need some help regarding French wines, you can count on me 🙂

  • There are a number of cigar-themed wines out there that specifically target cigar smokers. (One named “Cigarzin” comes to mind.) I’d love to see you pair a selection of those up some stogies!

  • Walt, its hard to pair wines with cigars because the cigars overpower the wines. Port and Madeira are the best because they are fortified. Try these nevertheless:

    Greg Norman Cab-Merlot
    Yellow Tail Reserve

    Pinot, don’t recommend it, but:
    Chehalem 3 vineyards
    Elk Cove

    Try some Malbecs from Argentina or even some Goat Do Roam from South Africa. Also, try some of the new Crios brand wines from Argentina.

  • Ooooh, a nice brash port always goes well with my cameroons. And I haven’t met a Spanish red that didn’t like me smoking with it, either.

    Current fave cigar wine: 2002 Lennard’s Crossing Shiraz. (Aus)

    Port: Whidbey’s. (here!)

    You GO, Walt!

  • What you REALLY need to do is start making your own wine at home! I just started doing this recently and have enjoyed it. A friend of mine has some videos online that show you how to do it easily and cheaply too!

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