The middle of winter is a fantastic time for enjoying wine especially for those normally to big, heady and sort of all-around-too-ballsy to be easily digestible any other time of the year.
WHEN, in winespeak, we say “big” we mean a wine, usually red (although there are arguably some whites that will qualify as big) with a thick coating mouth feel and a kick of tannin (mouth-drying astringency) and a whole lot of bramble and fruit to keep it interesting. Now, assy and horseshit laced reds are not everyone’s thing but some can be right down delicious and perfect for winter; hunt down a ten year old Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Red, FR) and you’ll see what we mean. The trick here is in the match—these ain’t exactly sipping reds, but if you’d like to drink your jerky you certainly can. Winter reds, and we’re for the most part leaving big flashy California Cab who’s often gobsmacking fruit makes it more apt to drink on its own, are meant to be enjoyed with something to eat;
A Gentlemen’s Directory of Food and Wine Pairing: Winter Reds
- Big Steak: Old Bordeaux- St. Julien (Leoville-Barton) or St. Estephe (Haut-Marbuzet… if you can find it)
- Lamb, roasted or otherwise: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Hermitage (both from the beloved Rhone, home of big rugged bacony reds that are delicious and perfect with anything lamb) – not to mention Barolo (Piedmont, IT), Pesquera (Ribera del Duero, SP), and anything Cabernet from… Washington (l’Ecole 45, Matthew’s, or Andrew Will to name a few).
- Roast or Stew: Porteguese Reds- they are wonderful (often a blend of Touriga Nacional and Cabernet).
- Short Ribs: Aglianico, old Barolo
- Ox-Tail: Rioja (we love Vina Tondonia)
 Clos Coulee de la Serrant by Nicolas Joly; Vina Tondonia Blanco 1998; and Belle Cote Chardonnay by Peter-Michael just to name a few that roll off the tongue.
Guide to Men’s Drinks brings you our newest feature : “What We’re Drinking Now” (WDN)…
FROM the folks at Anchor Distilling this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a mellow and beautiful rendition of America’s quintessential spirit.
The critics, ever so quick to want notoriety for their cleverness seem non-plussed but we here at TGG happen to love it. According to their own assessment this little whiskey is chock-full of “bakery shop tastes (prune Danish, raspberry-filled cookie, strawberry)…” and while all that may seem precious they couldn’t be, well, righter. Sweet and mellow this is a good Bourbon to leisurely sip before the sunset…
What to drink it with? Big ole chunk of ice and our favorite glasses here
I first stumbled upon this hidden gem of a cigar last year. It was a warm spring day, much like the ones we have been blessed with lately. I wandered into my local cigar club intending to enjoy a fine Davidoff.
BROWSING the humidors, a unique half circle box caught my eye. A fellow club member quickly explained to me that this was one of his favorite figuarados and the club rarely stocked them. Intrigued by the extravagant box holding the cigars and their fine oily wrapper, I changed my mind and picked one up.
Admittedly the La Gloria Cubana brand is a name well known to many cigar smokers. This cigar, however, represented the first selection that I chose to smoke from the brand. I was impressed by its firmness as I prepared to smoke it. A slight chop from my cutter sent the end falling to the ground without damaging the cigar in a clean cut. Box-pressed cigars have long been among my favorite type , perhaps it is their rareness that has always intrigued me, bot visually and experientially, incidentally most retailers attest that they’re hard to sell. This has always confused me as many box pressed cigars represent some of the best deals among premium cigars.
Glancing at the familiar, and safe, Davidoffs and Fuentes cigars staring at me from the nearby shelf I suddenly became skeptical since I’m unfamiliar with La Gloria, but I was immidately impressed with the rich aroma of the cigar, even before being lit. After just a few puffs on this oddly shaped stogie I realized that I had made a very fine choice indeed. The chocolate and coffee flavors in the cigar were a perfect foil to the cup of espresso I was sipping. I always find a cup of fine espresso to be the perfect accompaniment to almost any cigar. Indeed, the aromas of a freshly-pulled cup of espresso has become an integral part of my cigar ritual. For this particular cigar I found that a medium ground espresso (Caffe Vergnano and Caffe Sant’ Eustachio are my favorites) compliment the notes in the Obelisco perfectly.
In addition to the flavor of coffee, the first third of the cigar provided intriguing hints of spices while the second third gave off some notes of cedar mixed with some nuances of caramel. For its third act that pronounced note of cocoa returned and was joined, in near perfect unison, to a wonderful earthy flavor. I must say that I was instantly impressed with the flavors of the cigar. In general, I usually smoke two or three examples of a cigar before adding it to my go to list. The Obelisco, however, was instantly added to my list of favorites.
Overall, the cigar was a much quicker smoke than expected and lasted a little over a half an hour. I have been known to exuberantly puff away on cigars when in good company and often finish them quickly, still I was surprised by the short time required to smoke the Obelisco. The only drawback to the cigar, which may be due to my smoking style, was that the smoke tended to waft back into my nose. Several times I was forced to lower the cigar to prevent my nostrils from being flooded with smoke. Despite these minor drawbacks, I would recommend this cigar to any smoker.
La Gloria Cubana has clearly done something remarkable with the Artesanos de Obelisco. While easily matching such classics as Ashton and Davidoff, the Obelisco retains a very affordable price. On average these delightful cigars sell for about $8.00 a stick. This makes these cigars the perfect smoke for a gathering of friends.
Richard Urban has been smoking fine cigars since he turned 18 and at any given night can be found in Union Cigar Club in Pennsylvania. Richard runs a rare book store and currently attends Gettysburg College.
And we’re back… excuse us for the absence but we’ve taken a break, recalibrated and back with much more content and a wider reach than ever before!
WE’VE got great bourbon recommendations, dreat digs for man shoes, easy recipes in “Man Can Cook”, more silly seasonal colognes that matter and a slew of other great content. We’re reaching into the archives bringing some of our best hits, emptying our mail with some great reader questions and are signing up a slew of contributors to round out our pieces. “
Where have you guys
gone!?” was a question we got… fret not, you’re favorite men’s blog is back. Spread the world—let the world know. This is The Young Gentlemen’s Guide.