Cigar Pairing – The Panacea Green Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Have you ever brushed your teeth then drank a glass of orange juice? The bitter flavor that you get is the conflict between the alkalinity of the toothpaste and the acidity of the orange juice. Because most cigar tobacco has an alkaline base pairing a cigar with acidic wines like a Riesling results in the same conflict. That is why the Panacea Green Pennsylvania Broadleaf is so unique. Pennsylvania Broadleaf is primarily used as chewing tobacco and has a slightly acidic base. The Flatbed Cigar Company takes specially selected Pennsylvania Broadleaf tobacco to their factory in the Dominican Republic where it is aged and cured and used as the wrapper in the Green.It softens the acidity in the more acidic Rieslings and highlights the subtle fruit flavors.
The Pennsylvania Broadleaf is available here.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery 2011 Riesling
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery 2011 Columbia Valley Riesling (SRP $10): This is Washington State’s oldest winery and the area’s largest Riesling producer (I believe). The 2011 Columbia Valley Riesling is a pleasant yet uncomplicated wine with vibrant pear and stone fruit flavors, refreshing food-partnering [citrus] acidity and a faint hint of sweetness that lingers through to the crisp, clean finish. Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Columbia Valley Riesling is nationally available and for under $10 is a reliable entry-level Riesling to match with a wide variety of foods and also drinks nicely on its own. I enjoyed a few glasses with a [big] plate of Panda Express orange chicken, Beijing beef, and fried rice. The portions were so generous it was enough food for two people. Both the bottle of wine and a two entrée meal were just under $20, so try this out if you’re seeking a tasty combo for a cheap date night. Click hereto find this wine.
I have long been a fan of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay and their Riesling is equally tasty and was easy to find at my local Raley’s grocery store for about $11. The CSM Riesling proved to be a perfect match for the Green and a good example of how the acidity in the Broadleaf wrapper softens the flavor of the wine. Before lighting the cigar the acidity borders on being tart but sipping the wine after drawing on the cigar highlights a creaminess in the wine that is not noticeable when drinking it alone. Many of the Virginia white wines over the last couple of years have a “bright acidity” and, in some cases an over acidity that can be minimized and balanced when paired with this cigar.