The image of a man enjoying a smoldering cigar and a warm snifter of cognac is so synonymous with style and sophistication it’s almost a cliche or a parody. Maybe men don’t often sit before a fire to indulge in hand-rolled, aged tobacco and even more aged brandy, but they should.
For those who do, it’s no laughing matter. Fine cognac and cigars should never be wed haphazardly. They must be properly paired lest they clash with each other. Such a waste would be unthinkable, so we turned to one of world’s elite experts in both spirits and cigars to aide us in our perfect pairings.
Enrico Garzaroli – founder and owner of the elite Bahamas hotel, Graycliff; owner of the third largest wine collection in the world (valued at around $10 million); and the purveyor of Graycliff Cigars – can point the way with confidence.
Before we get started, it’s important to note for the uninitiated that, for a brand to take on the cognac badge, it should really be the grape-based brandy coming out of western France or the Cognac region, specifically. It’s a similar notion to tequila, which should technically come out of the Mexican town of the same name. If it comes from anywhere else, the concoction should be termed an “agave-based spirit.” In the end, all cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.