Cigar Box Reserve 2009 Malbec Sunday, Jun 12 2011 

I’m not a wine expert and have no plans to start regularly reviewing wine, but I ran across this wine in the grocery store and as a Cigar Guy, I had to buy it and give it a try.  Because of its name and the story behind the name I felt it was worthy of a short write-up here.  Unfortunately when I got up to the cigar shop and opened the bottle to share with my friends with some good cigars, I completely negelected to take another photo of the wine so I am using the same picture in this post that I used in my previous post I made when I found the wine.  I thought a nice picture of the wine in a glass would be good but alas I forgot to get the shot.

I was worried about what to expect.  The wine was $12 and had a screw on cap.  I know those are becoming more widely used even on some really good wines, but this was still cheap bottle of wine from the grocery store.  I didn’t know what to expect.  What I got was a pleasant surprise.  It is a very drinkable wine, well suited for any time and just about any situation.  It was fruitier than i was expecting with a distinct plum flavor.  A more refined wine taster might call it currant but plum works for me.  There was also a bit of pepper on the back end.  The finish was a little short and the body a little thin but for the price I thought it was quite good. It held up well to the Davidoff Short Perfecto Colorado Claro  I was smoking, and yet I don’t think it would over power any but the lightest and most delicate foods.  If you are a cigar guy like me and you enjoy the occasional glass of wine you should give this one a try some time.  It is pretty good and the name alone almost demands that you give it a try.

The Perfect Cigar Wine? Thursday, Jun 9 2011 

I saw this on the shelf at the grocery store and couldn’t resist picking up a bottle.  According to the label:

When the first vintage of this wine was made, our wine maker noticed subtle hints of “Cigar Box” on the nose… the name stuck!

What cigar lover wouldn’t be intrigued.  I am taking the bottle up to the cigar shop this evening to share with the fellas.  I hope it can live up to expectations.  I’ll post my thoughts on the wine after I’ve tried it!

A. Fuente 8-5-8 Rosado Tuesday, Jun 7 2011 

Country: Domincan Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado
Binder: Dominican
Filler: ?? Same as the other 8-5-8’s whatever that comprises
Size:  6.0′ x 47 ring

Fuente 8-5-8’s generate a lot of conversation among avid cigar smokers.  The Natural, bleh…  The Maduro, eh….   The Sungrown, heck yeah!!…  The Rosado, Woo-hoo!!! Gimme some!!

That is generally how it goes but can vary depending upon who you are talking to.  I do enjoy the black ribbon Sungrowns when I can find them, but even rarer than those are the 8-5-8 Rosados.  When it is Fuente and it is rare, it generates buzz.  For this cigar it is warranted.  It is a really fantastic smoke.  It highlights how dramatically a good wrapper can impact the overall experience of a blend.  As far as I know all the Flor Fina 8-5-8 cigars are the same blend of tobaccos in the filler.   If this is true this line of cigars is a good example to highlight the role a wrapper plays in the flavors of a cigar.

The 8-5-8 Rosado is smooth and delicious.  Floral notes are complimented by distinct flavors like cinnamon, and espresso.  There are also more robust flavors that develop later in the smoke like leather and spice, yet it always remains smooth with an almost creamy texture to it all.  This is a great cigar,  I wonder why it is that Fuentes best stuff always has to be rare and hard to find.  The cynic in me says to keep prices and sales up.  But I don’t know if the wrapper is just hard to come by or what.  I just wish they would make some of their better stuff a little easier to find.  I have grown disenchanted with the brand and no longer feel the need to go out of my way to constantly chase down these special releases even though I feel like I am missing out from time to time.

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