4

Pairing Off: Cigars

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Each week, Pairing Off attempts to find just the right bottle of wine to go with ordinary food...or in this case, smoke.

The gentleman at Pogo's was adamant when I asked the usual "which wine would go best with" question.

"I wouldn't pair it with wine," he told me. Twice.

Obviously whiskeys or Cognac set well against the creamy, leathery, bitter smoke from most decent cigars--hence the impulse to reach for a good single malt. But this is a wine pairing column and I'd already picked up an Oliva Serie G with a Camaroon wrapper. A nice cigar for $5.45.

So c'mon, Pogo's Guy.


Reluctantly he started into the the characteristics necessary to parry something as bold and invasive as smoke, which all pointed to one of the big California Cabs so popular in Dallas steakhouses. Or, he added, you could do a Port.

Fortified wine made sense. (Well, legitimate fortified wine, anyway...although it would be fun to walk into one of the city's better shops and say "which way to the Mad Dog aisle--and where's your Everclear?") Port after dinner was once a cherished tradition in gentlemanly circles, as were fine cigars.

Of course, you can only try this experiment at home these days. Or in Addison.

The Oliva Serie G is a surprising cigar for its price. Sweet notes from the Camaroon wrapper arouse your senses first, followed by the aroma of cedar bark and--to my nose--cleaning solution. On the draw, it is rather complex: coffee and bitter chocolate, cream, dry autumn leaves and a rubbery taint, with a long and smooth finish. Quite a lot for a wine to contend with.

Niepoort's Ruby--no sense going Vintage with a $5 cigar--smells of rich fruits, such as plum and dried cherry...with a little tar thrown in. The taste is rather similar, expanding from an initial blast of fruit in dark chocolate and a mineral quality that, oddly, resembles bacon.

Tobacco smoke absorbs all those rich, dark fruit flavors, however, leaving a lighter juicy residue. Meanwhile the cigar softens considerably, with spring grass emerging into the profile. The most notable sensation, though, is of the chocolate notes in both the cigar and the wine folding into each other--essentially drawing the smoke and the port together.

Not too bad. Although, honestly, bourbon or scotch would have been much better.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.