Gordon Mott

Starry, Starry Night

Posted: Aug 23, 2007 4:35pm 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.

The Cigar Tax's Silver Lining

Posted: Aug 23, 2007 9:28am ET
Within a few weeks, cigar smokers of America will know whether or not they are going to get socked with a huge new tax on their favorite product. The subject was on everybody’s mind at the RTDA trade show in early August in Houston. Everywhere you turned, small groups of manufacturers were huddled together in serious conversation, trying to strategize about the best ways to tackle the problem, and get legislators in Washington to listen to their plight.

Back in the Saddle

Posted: Aug 21, 2007 12:32pm ET
Whew.  I’m back at work after an extended break, which included four days in the middle of my vacation getting to and from and attending  the RTDA convention. There were also 10 days on Martha’s Vineyard, and three days getting my daughter off to college in Ohio. I’ll need another three weeks to recover from the latter event. Giving you my calendar for the last three weeks is a preamble to letting you know that I have bunch of blogs coming about cigars I smoked, people I saw, thoughts I have about the cigar industry and a few anecdotes about cigars in general. I’m going to start with one of those stories.

My Greatest Cigars

Posted: Jul 27, 2007 11:41am ET

My recent vacation in the Canadian Rockies reminded me of another of the greatest cigars I have ever smoked.

It was in 2000, and I was at Lake O'Hara for the first time. My wife and I stayed in the main lodge building, which has about a dozen rooms and communal baths on a second floor that looks out on the main floor where there is a fireplace, a sitting area and the dining room. On the outside of the building there are a couple of porches, one of them right at the entrance.

A Summer Night Saved

Posted: Jul 24, 2007 4:37pm ET
Dinner was raucous, a gathering of friends on a terrace overlooking the 18th green at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. We were all enjoying a great buffet dinner. A beautiful California Chardonnay from Grgich Hills and an excellent Merlot from Franciscan graced the table, and the bottles needed to be replaced more than once. From a couple of nearby tables, I could smell the sweet aroma of cigars. At least four or five people had lit up after dinner, and I knew it was going to be one of those nights for me too.

Cigars at The Post Hotel

Posted: Jul 13, 2007 3:12pm ET
Andre Schwarz is worried. He’s sitting at the table with me, my wife and daughter in the dining room of his award-winning restaurant and hotel and talking about what’s heading toward him at The Post Hotel. If you’ve been to Lake Louise, Alberta in Canada, then you can’t miss the hotel; it sits just to right of the main intersection at the Samson Mall, just off the exit of the Trans-Canada highway. Its red metal roofs beckon travelers, and with their steep smooth slopes remind everyone that while the place is beautiful in the summer, there’s a ton of snow in the wintertime that creates world class skiing.

In The Rockies

Posted: Jul 10, 2007 10:29am ET
The sweet strains of Beatles songs echoed across the green-blue, glacier waters of the lake. High above, the setting sun struck the tops of Mt. Lefroy, Mt. Victoria and Mt. Huber, the light turning their snow covered peaks a faint orange.

Ode to An Unknown Cigar

Posted: Jun 25, 2007 11:00am ET
I wanted a cigar Saturday night. It was one of those evenings that at the end of the summer, people in the Hudson Valley will say, “Do you remember that Saturday evening in mid-June?” It was perfect. Mid-70s. Low humidity. A crystalline blue sky. My wife and I had just finished a dinner of grilled lamb chops, roasted spicy yam frites and steamed asparagus on our terrace. I hadn’t smoked in 10 days because of a knock-you-down- to-your-knees respiratory virus that was accompanied by successive nights of a hacking cough. But I was fully recovered and I wasn’t going to waste the fading dusk hours after sunset without having a smoke on the back patio.

Fun Wheels

Posted: Jun 18, 2007 9:58am ET
I don’t want this blog to always be about cigars. And since I’ve been battling a nasty little respiratory flu bug the last 10 days, I don’t have a lot of current smoking anecdotes, although a friend of mine came over last night and I gave him one of my La Aurora Cien Años…the aroma was delicious and I was envious that he was smoking it and not me.

My Daughter’s Cigar

Posted: Jun 13, 2007 11:37am ET
I will start this blog by making a full disclosure. In writing about this subject, I’m violating my own standards set years ago when we first started doing tons of picture pages in the magazine. Every June, I would get a stack of pictures from graduating high school students, holding up cigars in their caps and gowns, or blazers and chinos. You could presume many were 18 at their high school ceremonies, so in many states, they weren’t violating the law. But we just didn’t feel it was appropriate to print those pictures, given all the criticism the tobacco industry takes for marketing to kids.

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