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15th December 2017Cigars for Christmas: Flavour Matching
Many of the world’s cigar connoisseurs will enjoy a smoke between meals, but when better to do so than on the day of all food days: Christmas. The festive season brings some magnificent flavours that are sometimes only enjoyed once a year, so why not capitalise on the array of tastes on offer and enhance your Christmas smoking experience.
Often appetisers will consist of cheeses, olives, cured meats, nuts and dried fruit. A smaller cigar or cigarillo is ideal to enjoy between your appetiser and any larger course. The combination of smoky, salty and creamy flavours often prominent in Mediterranean antipasto platters is a great start for your Christmas cigar pairing venture.
Some Australian families will have a light starter like prawns, lobster or other fresh seafood. A shorter, softer smoke will pair well with fish and crustaceans and should be favoured over a richer cigar so as not to overpower the flavours of the food. Mini Cigars can be a really great choice as they will bring depth without completely stamping out the flavour of the meal. When you think about it, it’s not surprising that cigars and seafood pair well together. Many people enjoy their fish smoked, and indulging in a cigar in conjunction with your meal can help to develop similar flavours.
The Main Event
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional roast meal. This is where the big guns of the cigar oeuvre shine. Rich meaty meals will always hold their own against robust cigars and red meat, such as beef and lamb, will make a great match to balance out the flavours of an intense cigar.
You can enhance the flavour combination further by selecting a beverage to compliment the taste. A full-bodied red wine will match well with a red meat roast, while a whiskey may better compliment turkey.
If your family swaps out the hot roast for a good ol’ Aussie barbie, you’re still in luck! The flavour of barbecued meat with a rich, spicy cigar will go hand in hand.
Dessert is a must-have course at Christmas time; however, the sweetness won’t always pair well with a cigar. We suggest you make a choice one way or the other – dessert or an after-dinner smoke – as you may end up wasting both if you mix the two. If you simply can’t resist, dark chocolate makes a great accompaniment to an after-dinner stogie, as the bitter taste will enhance the flavours in the cigar. This is another great opportunity to make a three-way flavour combination by picking out your favourite liqueur to enjoy at the same time.