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N°166

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Champagne & Cigares

13/01/2020

For the taster's escape, the sommelier also demonstrates his skills in choosing cigars searching for the most daring pairings.

Many facets link the world of food and wine pairings to that of combinations with cigars. These factors include aromatic complementarity, retro-olfactory sensations, flavor variations. However the art of pairing with a cigar requires specific terms, the quality of combustion, the level of humidity of the leaves or the amplitude of each of the puffs when smoking. Also, the experience of the smoker, the moment of tasting and the smoking time are decisive vectors to the choice of the illustrious companion of a cigar.

In this exercise, Champagne acts as an ally of quality, ready at any occasion.

The cigar embodies strength, incandescence and a certain manliness, Champagne evokes freshness, sparkling and lightness.

“What is important when you confront a cigar with a Champagne is that the smoke of the first does not alter too much the subtleties expressed by the second,” said Yves Belaubre, editor of the magazine Cigars and Sensations.
 

The degustation stages

The cigar afficionados classify their taste sensations in three stages of tasting, tercios (foin, divine, purin). At lighting, the first evokes floral, vegetal notes that can be oriented on more woody or even autumnal nuances. The voluptuousness, second third of the cigar, is the moment when the puro unfolds its powerfulness, its range of flavours sometimes animal, wild with more unctuous variants. According to the brands, models, countries of origin, the aroma wheel tends to evolve. Finally, in the last third, the flavours are more full-bodied, strongly spiced, delivering a certain virility, a sensation of astringency.

The choice of a Champagne to grant the illustrious vitola is primarily determined by the tasting moment. Although the champagne wonderfully covers the aperitif time thanks to its appetence, it also appreciates to be considered after dinner.
 

The effervescence as an aperitif, and now, cigars “Made in France”, tome for seduction

In the Pyrenean foothills in Navarrenx, Hedon is the first 100% French cigar house to have planted tobacco and to deliver a unique artisanal know-how.

Exemplary by the care provided by a passionate tobacco grower combined with the know-how of Cuban torcedores, Hedon offers a particularly unique wide range of cigars.

 

Le Flâneur, Corona Gorda – Champagne S de Salon 2002, Brut

We must dare to provoke this 'duel in the sun' between a cigar with shades of undergrowth, sweet spices, salted butter caramel and a noble champagne, finely buttery with balsamic notes. S de Salon pays tribute to the Chardonnay, undisputed Lord of the Côte des Blancs region, who has unlimited ageing potential.

 

Le Rêveur, Robusto – Champagne Gonet-Médeville « Cuvée Théophile » 2009, Brut Rosé

The tasty flavor of Robusto calls for an aperitif Champagne with floral, subtle and infused tones. Indeed, the aromatic range of the cigar led by lilac, tea leaf, rosehip perfectly meets the delicate sensations of Cuvée Théophile. The combination of flavors of the puro alongside the flavors of a Pinot Noir with character allows a quite successful pairing.

 

Le Légendaire, Double Corona – Champagne Deutz « Amour de Deutz » 2008, Brut

The exceptional draw of this vitola requires that you take some time to enjoy it, 4 hours exactly. The perfect teammate for this moment of plenitude would be a “Amour de Deutz” 2008 for its faculty to evolve constantly from its uncorking. Backed by its creamy and salivating texture, the bubbles from Ay will sublimate the delicate musky taste of the cigar.
A time for oneself, an encounter, relaxation and refinement.
It is also important to take time for yourself to appreciate more complex pairings in a universe of meditation, contemplation. Champagne, by its diversity, offers at these moments a tactile sensitivity. Cuban cigars holds in their roots a complexity and a platonic atmosphere in their alliance with wine.
 

Punch « Edition 2017 » – Champagne Henri Giraud « MV12 », Brut

One of the oldest brands of Habanos, Punch signs powerful and persistent cigars. Retranscribing the dry and warm character of the Vintage 2017, this model reveals a spicy temper with scents of sandalwood, brioche, clove. In front of it, the MV12 cuvee by Henri Giraud responds with its vinosity and its grilled expression due to the time spent in oak barrels.

 

Bolivar « Royals Coronas » – Champagne Billecart-Salmon
« Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart » 1996, Brut

Made in the region of Vuelta Abajo, the blend of Bolivar cigars evidence a strong personality. In the glass the choice of such a vintage resonates as a matter of course. An old Champagne “at temperature” admirably crosses the caramelized, rancio notes of the cigar.

 

Kentucky « Fire Cured » – Champagne Krug « Vintage » 2004, Brut

Nourished by beautiful Cuban influences, Kentucky's "Fire Cured" cigars draw their specificity from the drying of tobacco leaves. Placed over a wood fire, the leaves absorb the smoky flavors of walnut, maple and oak.The 2004 creation of Krug brings flesh and aromas to the association. Citron, prunes, licorice, truffle, Champagne is revealed in contact with the satin smoke of the vitola.
When we mention the Cigar and Champagne pairings, we can not omit to evoke the influence of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to whom the house Pol Roger dedicates its cuvée Signature.

“The Prime Minister considered the night as stimulating and inspiring.” Starting from this conclusion, Davidoff released a precious range made of tobacco leaves aged in Scotch Whisky casks. Stimulating unparalleled pleasure and a climate conducive to conversation, the cigar is nourished with heady finely peated aromas.

The style of Pol Roger's Cuvee “Winston Churchill” undeniably joins the impertinence of the Great Man. Produced in small quantity in which the Pinot Noir holds its promises of structure and full body, the wine is kept 10 years in the cellar.

Adrien Cascio