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?
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9 thoughts on “First time wine shopping”
New from WaltinPA.com: “First time wine shopping” – http://tinyurl.com/8rcp8w
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.
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.
Any wine drinkers have any advice for me: http://tinyurl.com/8rcp8w
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
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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