Reds & smokes: pairing wines with cigars

EDGAR's resident cigar expert pairs three red wines with their perfect sticks. 

July 27, 2015

In the endless search for the perfect cigar pairing, I was asked if you could pair cigars and red wine. For many people these two should never happen, while others are enthusiast about the idea. 

I decided to consult with one of the most knowledgeable sommeliers in the GCC region, Miss. Anastasia Saratura from Capital Club Dubai. The three red wines she selected from different regions only had one thing in common – they were all full bodied.

The chosen cigars were also from regions far apart, offering different blends, country of origin, wrappers and edging process. The only trait they shared is that they were all non-Cuban sticks. 

The results of this pairing were totally unexpected – an explosion of flavours. Sometimes the cigar overpowered the wine; sometimes the wine took control of the situation. Hand-to-hand in search of the best two amigos we have the following:

The reds

  • 2009 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Reserva, Australia
  • 2012 Ibericos Rioja Crianza, Spain
  • 2009 Dezzani Borolo, Italy

The cigars

  • Macanudo Maduro Robusto 
  • Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan Candela Robusto 
  • Gurkha Triad Natural Churchill 

Group one

2009 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Reserva

Richly perfumed and aromatic, with intense dark berry fruits, hints of black pepper spice and sweet vanillin oak. A rich core of ripe black fruits, layered subtly with black pepper and restrained, stylish oak, supported by softly textured fruit tannins and concluding with a long, savory finish.


Pair with the Gurkha Triad Natural Churchill. Brings more body to the wine, strengthens the tannin and pronounced flavour of the dry black fruits.

Group two

2012 Ibericos Rioja Crianza

Altos Ibericos is Torres' first wine produced in Spain's most famous wine region, Rioja. Deep red cherry in colour, on the nose it reveals notes of black ripened fruits and spicy aromas – cocoa and nutmeg – from the wood. Silky entrance in the mouth with pleasant tannins; long and spicy aftertaste. 


Pair with the Macanudo Maduro Robusto. Cigar and wine well balanced, no notes of bitterness found, the body remained pronounced with less tannins and increased wine flavour.

Group three

2009 Dezzani Borolo

Barolo is a delicious red wine from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It is made strictly from Nebbiolo grapes. Aromatic with rich tannins and characteristics of old oak, these wines are considered by most to be some of Italy's finest.


Pair with the Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan Candela Robusto.Biterness is low to none with the tannins kept low and no empowering flavour. Cigar and wine well balanced.

If you don’t believe me... ask the ashtray. Armando Nunez is from Marz Global. Visit