Cigar Advisor Report: Wine & Cigars Have Much in Common -- or Do They?

EASTON, PA - In his recent article, "Why Wine & Cigars Have So Much in Common - Or Do They?" editor Gary Korb looks at the similarities between wine and premium handmade cigars. Obvious similarities are the wine grapes and cigar tobaccos themselves, since both are categorized by harvest; both products go through a specific fermentation process; and bottled wines are aged for given time periods, as are finished cigars. The question is, do the terms "Reserva," "Grand Reserva," and "Grand Cru," which refer to how wine is aged, apply to how cigar tobaccos are aged and why they're labeled as such, or is it just a coincidence by way of marketing?

"It all started when one of our Facebook followers, a wine enthusiast and relatively new cigar smoker, asked if cigars that were labeled 'Reserva,' 'Grand Cru,' etc., were so-named because of how they were aged," said Mr. Korb. "The answer is yes and no."

Although the grading, fermentation and the aging process of cigar tobaccos is similar to how wine is done, the article points out that for most wines the contents of the bottle come from the same barrels or vats. For most handmade cigars, the individual tobaccos in a given blend may vary by harvest, the country and/or the region in which they were grown, where the leaves were taken from the plant, and how they were fermented and aged.

Some historical examples are cited, such as how in 1946, the Cuban-made cigars for Zino Davidoff's inaugural "Chateau Series" were named after France's best Bordelais estate wines, and how Cusano's 2006 Cuvée selection was inspired by the term cuvée used for vintage French champagne.

The article then moves into specifics citing current premium cigar examples like the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Reserva, Gran Habano Gran Reserva Corojo #5 2010, Perdomo Grand Cru 2006, and Davidoff Grand Cru selections. Pointing out the similarities to their wine counterparts by describing the cigars' individual blends, Korb makes a case for why they may have been given their respective labels with the caveat that some so-called "Reserva," "Grand Reserva," and "Grand Cru" cigars may be named simply "at the manufacturer's whim."

"Outside of asking the manufacturers themselves, we may never really know, and it probably doesn't matter," Korb added. "That said, Boutique Blends just released their new Aging Room Solera cigars that are blended in a manner that's virtually identical to the Solera aging method used for blending Sherry and Port wines. Go figure."

About Cigar Advisor

Cigar Advisor, the nation's premiere online cigar magazine, proudly serves cigar enthusiasts with a uniquely down-to-earth perspective on the enjoyment of premium cigars. Well-known and highly regarded for providing acclaimed educational cigar content and behind-the-scenes industry articles from some of the business's top names, the Cigar Advisor editors deliver an array of content that speaks directly to those who enjoy the cigar lifestyle.

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