Sunday, August 30, 2015

Not all wine gets better with Age...But the ones that do are awesome!!!

It is a totally false that you must age wine...It's a lie. 

In fact, throughout the world, most wine is drunk "young" meaning relatively soon after it is produced, perhaps 12 to 18 months; while some wines will "mature" and become better over time, others will not and should be drunk immediately, or within a few years.

In due course all wine goes “over the hill," so even the wines meant to be set aside for many, many years should be drunk before it’s too late.

…remember a famous name on the label is no guarantee whether a wine will age well.

For a wine to age well it needs a good spine…a good backbone! (fruit, tannin, aging in the barrel)

Which means it needs acidity, tannins(time on the grape skin) and aging in oak barrels (of course there are wines that see no oak). Without this structure; flavors will flatten out over time.

Further, while in the bottle I like to say a  tug of war ensues that makes the wine go through stages where one factor is overwhelming the other; yet it is perfectly possible that a wine gets expressively mute(where it’s hard to smell or taste anything awe-inspiring or irresistible. They call that a ‘dumb’ wine. Does not mean it’s bad. It’s just not expressive at all. – So be aware of that.

Are older wines better than younger wines? …It’s a matter of taste.

When red wines mature... the bitter tannins will soften and earthy flavors develop, the fruit is less energetic and supple. The wine may remain extremely cerebral and delicious; which is ultimately what you aspire for. Those with the great wine cellars and older classic wines that are well kept. There are wines that are just absolutely incredible when aged!

But there are plenty of people who enjoy buoyant and lively fruit and the tangy acidity of a younger wine. These wines can be just as engaging, nuanced or powerful.  It is a matter of preference.

What about the white wines?

White wines are best drunk when young because when they age whites can become honey flavored and nutty.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Today the cigar movement is once again in major fashion so let's talk Nicaragua Tobacco, which is truly becoming ‘the’ place.

Today the cigar movement is once again in major fashion.  The 90’s saw the decade really pick up with a new generation of real cigar aficionados and why not. The millennial roared with  a new era for food and wine. Yet, tobacco amongst the most important crops in the history of the world; Honestly there is nothing like a great cigar. Just like wine and spirits, cigars are among the world’s greatest and necessary indulgences. Oh boy, do they go together well...
There will always be the controversy about cigars. It is an easy sin tax.  But there is no denying the pleasure of a fine cigar. Whether after dinner, while fishing, golfing, at the BBQ, Beach, or just relaxing at the house or favorite watering hole.
I will be writing in a series of articles some of the basics that come to mind regarding the types of tobacco. In no certain order I will cover 4 types of cigars in four articles this is the first.

 1)Nicaraguan Cigar tobacco

 2)Dominican Cigar tobacco

 3)Honduran Cigar tobacco

 4)Cuban Cigar tobacco

In this article we will talk some about Nicaraguan Tobacco, which is truly becoming ‘the’ place.
Nicaragua is one of the best Cigar tobacco producing countries in the world.

Nicaragua is located just south of Honduras and north of Costa Rica in Central America. Years ago the Nicaraguan cigar industry had seen many setbacks with uncooperative politics and catastrophic storms; the powers have their act together and Nicaragua is on a serious roll and hands down producing some of the world’s best cigars, period. The country has rich and fertile soils for growing tobacco and even has a volcanic island. It’s been known since the Cuban’s came over in the 1060’s.

Nicaraguan Cigar tobacco is very noticeable through its texture. The texture is pliable in nature. In that it  is very unique  in nature and quality. The Nicaraguan cigar tobacco has a weighty spice and it inot as sweet as cigar tobacco from Cameroon, Sumatra or Maduro of other countries.

In the Nicaraguan, there are 4 main regions which are growing the Cigar tobacco –  Esteli, Jalapa, Condega and Ometempe.

Esteli : EstelĂ­ is the capital city of Nicaragua’s. Esteli has a black and fertile soil. Esteli produces a heavy spice, full aroma, body and full-flavored Cigar tobacco leaf. Esteli grows strongest of all Nicaraguan Cigar tobacco.

Jalapa : Jalapa has heavy with red clay soil. Jalapa produces a very smooth, elegant, and rich Cigar tobacco. On the Honduran border and really hard to get to;  Jalapa produces beautiful wrappers also. The Jalapa Cigar tobacco is very flavorful, slightly sweeter and unique because of the rich and complex aromas. It is remindful of the rich tobacco from Cuba's Vuelta Abajo.

Condega : Condega has rocky soil. Condega produces very oily and elastic Cigar tobacco leaves with rich colors that are excellent for wrappers. The area sees a lot of cloud cover and the tobacco is mostlt sun grown. The tobacco is not as strong as from Esteli; it produces the second strongest Cigar tobaccos in Nicaragua.

Ometempe : An Island off the coast of Nicaragua. Ometempe have natural minerals in soil, which make it unique because of the volcanoes and provide ideal conditions and atmosphere for Cigar tobacco plant growth. The Ometempe island cigar tobacco is described as producing a sweet and a distinctively earthy and spicy characteristic.

There is a diversity of cigar brands that come from Nicaragua and Nicaraguan cigars come in abundant shapes and sizes with a range of aromas flavors. They do well with Tawny Ports, Jerez Sherry, Madeira and Vin de Naturals not to mention a good Brandy or Scotch. Here are several to look Nicaraguan Cigars to look into…

•Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic

• Drew Estate

• Cupido  

• Olivia

• Padron

• Plasencia

• Vegas de Tabacalera Esteli

• My Father

 • Perdomo