Home » Food and Drink

What To Serve With Cigars

Aug 20, 2008
The signs are everywhere: America is, increasingly, a taste-conscious country. After decades of fast food, people are talking about the "slow-food" movement. Magazines like Gourmet, Food and Martha Stewart Living appeal to more and more peoples' desire to eat well, not just copiously.

The difference is visible in other media as well. Television shows like "Top Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen" attract an audience hard to imagine twenty years ago, as do cable channels like the Food Network and HGTV. Books by Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain and Barbara Kingsolver about food dominate the Borders' sale table while customers flock to pay top dollar for organic arugula at Whole Foods.

And the most telling detail of all, perhaps: after decades of ignoring activists' attempts to point out that locally-grown food tastes better, suddenly every foodie in town is at least considering the idea of bypassing the neighborhood grocery store in favor of the local farmer's market.

The sudden interest in fine ingredients, gourmet recipes and subtle tastes - after decades of having our tastebuds bombed by high-sugar and high-fat convenience foods may remind some business observers of a similar trend during the 1990s: the resurgence of cigars. After all, the gap between a greasy diner hamburger and the kinds of dishes that please consumers today is similar to that between a tiny, assembly-line-made cigarette, full of short-leaf filler tobacco, and a fine, hand-rolled cigar. In both cases, consumers are opting for quality over quantity.

And, in fact, it's the same sorts of consumers in both cases: generally younger, well-educated, fairly successful, engaged in high-stress occupations and looking for ways to treat themselves.

So it's no wonder that more and more foodies wonder how to combine these two pleasures: what tastes (in food and drink) go best with cigars? Here are some principles to keep in mind for your next party.

First of all, remember that it's always a matter of opinion - and personal taste. Some cigar devotees wouldn't think of mixing any meal, no matter how scrumptious or well-matched, with a cigar, or vice versa. Other folks may not ever light up except as a way of relaxing after a good meal with friends. And if you're entertaining, your first duty, of course, is to be sensitive to the needs and interests of your guests.

As far as beverages go, it's best to mix wine with cigars - the finer the wine, the better the mix. Wine and cigars are a natural mix: acquired tastes, somewhat bitter, both aged, both needing to be savored rather than rushed. Red wine, especially port, comes recommended by several aficionados whose writings I've consulted.

You'll probably want to steer clear of wines on either the extremely-sweet or extremely-bitter side of the taste spectrum, such as Beaujolais nouveaux and some cabernet sauvignons. These exceptionally bitter or sweet wines tend to have such a strong taste that they won't make room for the taste of your stogie, so to speak. A similar problem occurs with ultra-subtle wines that won't assert themselves against the strong taste of your cigar. Some specifically recommend red zinfandels, Pinot Noirs, and Spanish and Italian red table wines, which avoid extremes and have a taste strong enough to interact with that of your cigar but not so strong as to dominate it. White wines, being sweeter, aren't always recommended. Liqueurs are a possibility, as are well-made, subtle-tasting beers such as stouts or ales - but probably nothing that comes in a 12-oz. can.

In general, with both foods and beverages, heavy goes with heavy, and light goes with light. Your lightest, smoothest-tasting cigars should go with a smaller meal and your heavy cigars with big ones.

Cigars are generally thought to go best after the meal, as a sort of dessert. If you smoke before the meal, go with something small and light - a cigarillo rather than a Churchill.

Coffee, a bitter drink, can offer a natural complement to the taste of cigars. Try a strong-flavored, full-bodied coffee, such as a Colombian or East Timorese. The stronger-tasting sorts of teas, such as China Black or Earl Grey, also hold up well in the presence of a cigar, though not herbal teas, which operate on a different frequency.

As for dessert, stick to dark rather than milk chocolate - its comparative bitterness will make a lot of sense next to a strong smoke. Creamy and rich desserts won't work at all with cigars. Simple desserts, made of one item, might - so opt for a piece of fruit rather than a fruit cocktail, a bit of dark chocolate rather than a hot-fudge sundae, etc.
About the Author
CigarFox provides you the opportunity to build your own sampler of the finest cigars that include cigar brands like Montecristo, Romeo & Julieta, H Upmann, Macanudo, Cohiba, Partagas, Gurkha and many more. Choose from more than 1200 different cigars! Other cigar products include cigar humidors, cigar boxes, and cigar accessories like Zippo Lighters.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 165
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources