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What to Drink with Your Smoke

What to Drink with Your Smoke 1February 12th, 2018

For the experienced premium cigar smoker (as well as anyone just discovering the enjoyment of hand-rolled tobacco), figuring out what to drink while relaxing with a good smoke is important.

Pairing a cigar with a beer is initially a fairly easy thing. Lighter bodied cigars are best accompanied by lighter bodied beers, and so on through the flavor intensity spectrum. But craft brewers have pushed the envelope to create very different and, in some cases, truly astounding beers and ales. Not to be outdone, cigar manufacturers are constantly modifying their blends to create different profiles within their cigar lines. Getting a truly outstanding pairing can therefore represent a bit of a gamble. Still, it’s very rewarding when you find the perfect pairing.

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A Rich Pour 40: Grenache in the Black

January 30th, 2017A Rich Pour 40 1

This edition of A Rich Pour focuses on a dry red wine with a rather long title – Domaine Lafage Cuvée Nicolas Grenache Noir Vieilles Vignes, Côtes Catalanes 2014. Fortunately for the consumer, the wine is as substantial a mouthful as its name.

The Cuvée Nicolas is pure Grenache Noir, and comes from the Aspres region of southeastern France, located approximately halfway between Grenoble and Marseille. The vineyards lie in poor soil at some four hundred meters of altitude, and are surrounded by scrubland.

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A Rich Pour 36: Ready, Set, Red Rioja!

A Rich Pour 36 1October 24th, 2016

This edition of A Rich Pour marks something of a departure from the usual format, as I’m profiling just a single wine rather than a selection of spirits, wines or a region.

After decades of purchasing, cellaring and writing about wines, I’m not one to be seduced by attractive labels. This particular instance proved an exception. For one, the front label had an elegant simplicity about it that seemed to whisper, “Quality.” Secondly, the Rioja certification sticker on the back of the bottle stipulated the lowest regional Denominación de Origen Calificada classification – no Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva to be seen here – and this despite some words from the winery to the effect that this red was a traditional blend, which had spent a year and a half in the cellar prior to release. Last but not least, I’d never before come across any products from this winery. Given the approximately CDN$20 cost of the bottle, I was intrigued, and took the plunge.

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A Rich Pour 33: Warm Weather Whites

A Rich Pour 33 1The sun is shining, and any memories of the chill of winter are now distant ones. A sudden hankering for liquid coolness demands to be satisfied. What to reach for? There are countless choices – an Indian pale ale perhaps, a gin and tonic, a Mojito or Pina colada, a mint julep, a whisky and soda or a refreshing white wine. That last option sounds like a pretty good one. Let's explore it further.

White wines can, of course, be enjoyed throughout the year. But they really come into their own when the hours of daylight lengthen and the thirst factor escalates.

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A Rich Pour 32: Garnacha and Graciano Take Center Stage

A Rich Pour 32.1

For the northern-clime residents among us who are, as yet, dealing with snow and cold, the thought of food and wine of the warming sort is, well, a comforting one. And given the vagaries of El Niño this year, we’re not alone.

When it comes to winter wines, reds rule. I’m a big fan of the dry red wines from Spain, as I find they often offer tremendous quality at relatively modest cost. Garnacha and Graciano may not be the most widely planted red grape varieties in Spain, but they’ve certainly gained in stature of late – not the least because of the resurrection of old vineyards and the efforts of a few pioneering winegrowers.

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