Gordon Mott

Great Old Smoke

Posted: Oct 9, 2007 2:11pm ET
I had one of those cigar moments that we all dream about on Saturday night. My friend had cooked a great meal, we were working our way through a couple of bottles of fine American wines, and the conversation swirled non-stop around the table. The dessert was served, and it was time for one of those fine, old English moments. The women in the group retired to the patio (it was still in the mid-70s at 10 o’clock), and the men stayed at the dinner table.

Dining in the Heartland

Posted: Oct 5, 2007 10:43am ET
New Yorkers are parochial. We know it. We don’t simply believe that our restaurants are as good as any in the world or in the United States, we know it. It is true that you can eat as well in the five boroughs as you can just about anywhere. But if you travel, and love good food, you also know that today you can be surprised by a great restaurant in almost any city, big or small, across the entire country. America’s food revolution is real.

The Perfect Invitation

Posted: Oct 1, 2007 10:28am ET
“Take whatever you’d like to smoke.” The words were like magic. The invitation, from my friend who has an extraordinary collection of cigars, is not uncommon, but I never take it for granted. It’s a treat. And I know it.

Well, it turned out that as the invitation was spoken, I spied a box of one of my favorite cigars staring me right in the face: Romeo y Julieta Churchills. Their origin was from that small island nation 90 miles from Key West, so I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to smoke.

Around the Fire

Posted: Sep 20, 2007 4:39pm ET
It was 11:30 p.m. last Saturday night. I was sitting on a low, stone wall that surrounds an ancient fireplace in the backyard of my house in Westchester County, New York. I had a half-smoked Tatuaje Taino in one hand, a glass of 1977 Taylor Fladgate Port in the other, and the sweet aromas of my fellow cigar smokers (including my wife puffing away on an OpusX PerfeXcion No. 5) mingling with the aromas from the fireplace.

Fast Fun II

Posted: Sep 19, 2007 11:19am ET
When it rains it pours. Or when you drive fast, you get used to it. This past weekend, I had another Audi, an S4, the little brother to the faster, more explosive RS4.

At first glance, there’s not much difference. There are 18-inch rims instead of 19 inch. And, the exhausts have a little different look too…four pipes instead of two. Even inside, there’s not much difference—each car has a six-speed manual transmission and the full array of Audi electronics. The seats seemed a little plusher in the S4, not quite as sport car hard as the RS4.

Fast Fun

Posted: Sep 11, 2007 9:04am ET
Porsche Killer II. That image kept jumping into the teenage boy part of my brain every time I punched the accelerator of the Audi RS4 I had for the weekend. I could see the faces in my rear-view mirror, some of them having stayed on the bumper to get a glimpse of exactly what was riding on those 19-inch tires, but by the time they got close enough, I wasn’t close anymore.

Smokin’ in Saratoga Springs

Posted: Sep 4, 2007 2:34pm ET
The streets were jammed with strollers, enjoying the weather on an absolutely perfect Labor Day weekend in downtown Saratoga Springs, N.Y. My wife and I were out on Broadway, walking our Belgian Sheepdog, Chloe, and taking in the afternoon scene. We stopped into the Putnam Wine Market to see our friend William Roach (see July/August Cigar Aficionado, pg. 41) and then went to check out the expansion at the best bakery in North America, Mrs. London’s. As we ambled back toward the apartment, the breeze picked up and I got the unmistakable aroma of a cigar. I always scan the surroundings to see who’s smoking, but in this case, I couldn’t see anybody holding a stogie, but the scent of tobacco kept getting stronger.

Dream Cigar Spot

Posted: Aug 31, 2007 11:04am ET
Have you ever found yourself in a spot where you realize that it is the perfect location to have a cigar…and you didn’t have one with you? It happened to me last Saturday. Now, I didn’t have a cigar because it was a lunch at a restaurant in New York State, which means No Smoking, No Way. And, the forecast was for 100 degree temperatures, so I wasn’t eager to sweat it out outside just to smoke. And I wasn’t that far from home, so I knew if the urge hit the party, we could always retire to my house.

Your Industry     

Posted: Aug 29, 2007 12:13pm ET
One of the great features of the cigar industry is how small it is. Yes, there are two very large publicly owned companies (Altadis and Swedish Match) that are big players, but the majority of the rest of the companies are family or individually owned. Some of the latter aren’t that small any more, but it is an industry where everyone who does business in it knows just about everybody else. Even the big companies are run by people who have spent their entire lives working with cigars, so it’s not like they are just anonymous suits; they have friendships that go back decades.

Starry, Starry Night

Posted: Aug 26, 2007 11:07am ET
August 12th is always one of my favorite days of the year. It’s my daughter’s birthday. And, it is night for the annual Perseid meteor shower. Every year, I prepare her meal of choice: (fresh-made pesto on pasta, caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, and sweet corn from a farm stand.) And, after the birthday cake (this year, a Triple Mousse Majesty – all chocolate -- from the Black Dog Bakery in Martha’s Vineyard), we stay awake until the shower starts to pick up steam at about 1 a.m. Since it was her 18th this year, she invited some of her girlfriends to join her on the Vineyard, and we had a real party on a screened-in porch decorated with balloons and lanterns and a full spread on the tables. It was one of the last hurrahs before they all disappeared into their post-high school lives in college or gap years doing interesting things.

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