CINCO VODKA “THE CIGAR SMOKERS SPIRIT”
Jonny Walker Blue (mist)
Fill a mixing glass full of ice to chill the glass
Empty and refill the mixing glass with ice
Place Vodka into a mixing glass and stir for 30 seconds
Mist a chilled martini glass with the Jonny Blue
Strain the mixing glass into the chilled martini glass
Garnish with olives and salami
It can be quite difficult to find affordable, tasty Champagne to serve a large group of people. The term Champagne only refers to a wine produced in the Champagne region of France. Wine of that style produced in the United States is designated as “sparkling wine” and elsewhere in the world there are a large number of names for sparkling wines such names as prosecco, cava, and spumante, just to name a few. The NV on each of the labels above stands for “non-vintage,” meaning that it was produced by blending grapes from different years. Non-vintage wines seldom taste different in any given year because of the way this blending occurs.
It can be quite difficult to find affordable, tasty Champagne to serve a large group of people. The term Champagne only refers to a wine produced in the Champagne region of France. Wine of that style produced in the United States is designated as “sparkling wine” and elsewhere in the world there are a large number of names for sparkling wines such names as prosecco, cava, and spumante, just to name a few.
The NV on each of the labels above stands for “non-vintage,” meaning that it was produced by blending grapes from different years. Non-vintage wines seldom taste different in any given year because of the way this blending occurs.
Is there really a difference between sparkling wine and Champagne? Not really. According to legend, a monk named Dom Pérignon missed the mark while making wine for his Abbey in the early 1700s. One winter, he mistakenly bottled and corked the wine prior to the completion of the fermentation process. Due to the cold weather fermentation was dormant during the winter, but as temperatures rose in the spring, fermentation resumed and carbon dioxide that was trapped inside caused the bottles to explode. After taking a drink, Dom is said to have quipped, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!” Although the name Dom Pérignon today is synonymous with great Champagne, he did not invent sparkling wine. The first sparkling wine most likely originated in a region of France that is further south of Champagne and 150 years earlier than Dom’s mistake.
Overall, I was impressed with the Tatuaje El Triunfador Lancero. It was rich, relatively complex, and extremely well made. The first 1.5 inches was surprisingly mild, falling into the medium smoke category. Coffee/cocoa, pepper, and leather dominated until the second third, during which the leather faded out and gave way to a softer vanilla flavor. As the cigar progressed further, the body picked up and the pepper became more intense. A tight power house in the end overall…
The Cayman Islands-based distiller of Seven Fathoms Rum recently signed a deal with Florida-based importer Luxe Vintages with the goal of selling the high-end liquor online and in 30 different states.
A flurry of South African wine releases this weekend in Ontario calls to mind the exotic range and variety coming from one of the world’s most dynamic growing regions. A recent census report revealed there are more than 600 wineries in the country, virtually double the amount operating in 2000.
Every year, a few Cuban cigars are deleted from Habanos S.A.’s portfolio of sizes. This year, a trio of San Cristóbal de la Habana sizes are on the chopping block.
The Muralla, Mercaderes and Oficios are scheduled to be taken out of production. Though not part of the original core line, which was launched in 1999, these sizes were released in 2006 as La Casa del Habano exclusives.
At the time of their launching, these sizes were available only at La Casa Del Habano stores, the official retail outlet licensed by Habanos S.A. Cigars that are La Casa del Habano exclusives can be identified by a secondary sienna-colored band that bears the franchise logo in gold.
Each of these San Cristóbal sizes were unique within the Habanos portfolio, as no other brands utilized those specifications. The Muralla measured 7 1/8 inches long by 54 ring. Called a Rodolfo in Cuban cigar factories, it was the largest regular production torpedo size made in Cuba. The Mercaderes, also referred to as Hermosos No. 1, measured 6 5/8 by 48 ring and the Oficios, or Dalias Cortas, were rolled at a diminutive 5 3/8 by 43.
This cut will bring the San Cristóbal brand back down to its original four sizes: El Morro, 7 1/8 by 49; La Fuerza, 5 1/2 by 50; El Principe, 4 3/8 by 42; and La Punta, a 5 1/2 by 52 belicoso.
It is certainly true that there are some extremely good and inexpensive wines out there. But to argue that all inexpensive wine tastes better than expensive wine is a little too black and white for my palate.
Like visual art, wine is a hugely complex, broad and global subject with a myriad of different styles, colors, vintages and taste profiles.
One of the questions I am frequently asked when I am hosting wine tastings is what do the most expensive wines in the world taste like? Without going into detailed descriptors, as a rule of thumb they display more flavors. The nose might have 5 or 6 different flavor notes, the texture of the wine (how it feels in the mouth) is usually weightless whereas the flavor is intense and the aftertaste stays at the back of the throat for several seconds. Put simply they are about purity and complexity, and it is the latter that one is paying for.
Now, I’m not saying that the top wines are worth there inflated price tag. I liken tasting a bottle of the most expensive wine in the world to visiting the Mona Lisa in Paris. If you took somebody to the Louvre who didn’t have any knowledge of visual art and showed them the Mona Lisa and then told them it was the most expensive piece of visual art in the world, one suspects there reaction would be of mild disbelief.