Beverly Hills Cigar Club Offers Top 10 Champagne and Cigar Pairings for the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, the Beverly Hills Cigar Club (BHCC) is offering its 2010 Top 10 Champagne and Cigar Pairings: what to smoke and drink while you ring in the New Year.

BHCC’s pairings involved identifying a champagne with a high rating in all price categories and then choosing a top rated cigar that would best complement that selection. Vin Lee, CEO, Beverly Hills Cigar Club, then determined the best match ups, finding the final choices included well known brands but also selections produced by boutique champagne houses and tobacco producers.

“In this day and age, not everyone can afford a $50 cigar and a $300 bottle of champagne,” said Lee. “Complementing a wonderful glass of champagne with a great cigar for the holidays is something everyone should be able to enjoy.”

BHCC’s 2010 Top 10 Champagne and Cigar Pairings are:

1. Louis Roederer Cristal Brut ’02 (750 ML) paired with Goldwin LOUIXS Rosado

The 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal, a Wine Enthusiast pick, is a gorgeous, seductive Cristal of the highest level. In three words: proud, rich and luxurious. Wine Enthusiast Rating: 98. $299.

The LOUIXS, a celebratory cigar, is from rare Nicaraguan Rosado leaf. A full, subtle two hours of pure smoking enjoyment. A ForbesLife ‘Find of the Day’ in July. $50.

“An evening with Cristal and LOUIXS would be a dance of smoke and bubbles that would dazzle the most demanding audience,” says Lee.

2. Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blanc Flower Bottle ’99 (750 ML) paired with Arturo Fuente Opus X Perfecxion

Wine Spectator gave this fine champagne a 90 rating. Aromas of yogurt and yeast introduce the rich, powerful ’99 Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blanc Flower Bottle, a champagne with fine density and lovely texture. $279.99.

One of the rarest and highest rated brand in the world, OpusX has a world- renowned reputation for quality and class. It is full-bodied with a rich, robust flavor. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 91. $40.

“Perrier Jouet delivers sexy femininity in a flower bottle while a Fuente Opus-X roars back in a masculine growl,” says Lee. Combining the two is love making for the senses.”

3. Moet & Chandon Champagne Brut Rose Imperial (750 ML) paired with Padron Anniversary 1964 Series “A”

The most extrovert and seductive expression of the Moet & Chandon style. This champagne reflects the richness of the region’s best vineyards. Instantly seductive. Wine Spectator Rating: 91. $69.99.

A box-pressed cigar with a very even burn and a lush draw that saturates the entire palate with complex layers of spice, nut and wood flavors before a toasty finish. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 95. $32

“A worldly pairing of titan brands,” says Lee.

4. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvee (750 ML) paired with Davidoff Zino Platinum Crown Series Rocket

The Bollinger style is always rich, with an intensity of flavor. Wine Enthusiast Rating: 94, Wine Spectator Rating: 93. $59.99

A thick torpedo that smokes well, forming a large, solid ash as it burns. It starts out papery but warms to show some nutty and savory notes. A light, mild- to medium-bodied cigar. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 87. $30.

“Polishing off a Bollinger with a Zino smoke is the culmination of James Bond enjoying a legendary bubbly with Europe’s finest cigar,” Lee says. “All that’s missing is the Aston Martin and the girl.”

5. Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut ’98 (750 ML paired with Montecristo White Churchill

Elegant vintage, classy and refined, with notes of tobacco and leather. The finish is light, with a hint of herbal tea. Wine Spectator Rating: 92. $59.99.

Creamy, mild and smooth, the Montecristo White is a favorite for aficionados who appreciate a complex smoke without an overwhelming amount of strength. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 86. $10

“Just like Altadis proclaims, ‘White goes with everything.’” Lee reminds. “The Churchill Montecristo draws out Piper Heidseick’s bold legacy and will cap off 2009 with style.”

6. Domaine Carneros Brut Rose (750 ML) paired with Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Illusion

A top choice by Connoisseurs Guide, the NV Dom Carneros Brut Rose Cuvée de la Pompadour celebrates the life and times of Madame de Pompadour (the great courtesan and mistress of Louis XV) who is credited with introducing champagne to the court. $45.

A thin, pressed cigar that is dark and oily with a lush draw. The flavors are woody and toasty with some peppery notes, citrus zest and a coffee finish. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 88. $9.

7. Deutz Champagne Brut Classic (750 ML) paired with Macanudo 1968 Toro

The distinctive house style that has made Champagne Deutz one of the most respected of all Champagne houses, is reflected in this fine non-vintage champagne. Wine Enthusiast Rating: 93. $39.99.

A dark cigar with lots of cedar flavors. The Toro’s taste is complemented by significant notes of toast as well as black cherry. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 90. $9.50

8. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (750 ML) paired with Rocky Patel Decade The Forty Six

Clicquot’s signature non-vintage Brut, loved for its crisp, full flavors, consistent quality and bright yellow label. It has a persistent sparkle and elegance. $41.99.

Short and box-pressed with even combustion and a full draw, this cigar is spicy and meaty with sweet, woody notes and a coffee bean finish. Medium bodied and well balanced. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 92. $8.

9. Chandon Spark Pinot Noir Brut Reserve (750 ML) paired with CAO LX2 Toro

Wine Enthusiast called this vintage “one of the best Chandon bubblies.” Rating: 93 $21.99.

The Cao is a dark, solidly rolled cigar. The draw gives some resistance but, after savory first puffs, layers the palate with leather and coffee bean notes that usher in sweetness. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 91. $7.25

10. Mumm Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Cuvee M (750 ML) paired with Don Tomas Cameroon Perfecto 1

One of California’s very best sparkling wines, it won two gold medals at the 2009 San Francisco International Wine Competition. $18.99

An odd little perfecto with an oily wrapper, the Perfecto draws well, with loads of black pepper notes and a light, earthy flavor and hints of sour cherries. Cigar Aficionado Rating: 89. $6.90


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