Posted: Jul 3, 2008 2:02pm ET
The office is closing early, so I’m packing up some cigars and getting ready to head home. Tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays, Independence Day, and I plan on celebrating in smoky style.
It’s a day for family and for cookouts. My wife and boy will be joining a group of great friends near the ocean for a lazy day of grilling steaks, sipping cold beers and firing up hearty cigars while we watch the fireworks. This year the fireworks will be done by professionals, but I remember when I was a kid July 4 was all about the homemade fireworks show. We would gather in front of someone's house and stay up much, much later than usual. The adults would be drinking beers, we would be sipping sodas, and when it got dark enough someone would give up an empty beer bottle to serve as a makeshift firing pad for bottle rockets. It was a great way to spend a holiday.
Posted: Jun 24, 2008 10:08am ET
I’m jealous. I recently visited what has to be the ultimate home humidor.
Recently I flew to Nashville, Tennessee, to meet with the principals of C.A.O. International Inc. Nashville is a great place, lush and green, full of trees, with a hip downtown powered by the city’s music business. But it’s not the typical place where you would find a cigar company.
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:19am ET
I zipped up the flap on my tent, put my left arm over my young son and covered him up as best I could. The orange tent glowed from the lightning bolts above and thunder cracked far too close outside. We were on an island. Our tent was the tallest object on the beach for about 50 yards, and the boat that brought us here was well offshore in high tide. The nearest home was two miles away. The storm came on hard, fast and took us by surprise.
Posted: Jun 13, 2008 10:13am ET
I usually start my day with a cup of black coffee. But I recently tried a much more potent pick me up—a trio of cigars made of straight ligero, which I smoked at 10 a.m. and chased with a bracing cup of espresso. Now that’s a hearty breakfast!
Posted: Jun 3, 2008 10:48am ET
My right knee is throbbing, my shins are swollen and both feet are sore. Why? I joined a few friends on Sunday and played soccer for a couple of hours. It’s been about a year since I’d played, and much, much longer since I played regularly. Let’s just say it’s a little harder now than when I was in my mid 20s playing a few times a week.
Posted: May 20, 2008 12:42pm ET
So I thought I knew all of Jose “Pepin” Garcia’s smokes. I was wrong. I had lunch the other day with John Gonzales, national sales manager for El Rey de Los Habanos, Pepin’s company in Miami. John and I were talking about cigars when he mentioned Vegas Cubanas, a brand I’d never heard of. When I professed my ignorance, John handed me a few robusto-sized smoked called Invictos.
Posted: May 12, 2008 4:16pm ET
There’s just something special about firing up a great cigar (or two) on Derby Day. This year, my wife and I celebrated in style with a great group at the home of our friends Tammy and Jay Harris, who treat the annual Run for the Roses as if it were a national holiday.
Posted: Apr 30, 2008 4:42pm ET
James Suckling was in town this week, so Monday night we headed out to an early dinner in midtown. We ate at Benoit, a new brasserie from Alain Ducasse that just opened. (It was so new, in fact, that they didn’t have a liquor license, something we didn’t know until after we sat down. A quick trip to a local liquor store remedied that. James will be blogging about that experience soon at winespectator.com
Posted: Apr 22, 2008 10:20am ET
I had lunch the other day with Litto Gomez
, who makes La Flor Dominicana cigars. We ate at Otto, part of the Mario Batali/Joe Bastianich
Italian food empire. Litto is as slim as a spear, but you’d never know it if you watched him tuck into a table set with great Italian food. The guy can eat about as much as I can, and that tells you something.
Posted: Apr 16, 2008 10:30am ET
It’s Night to Remember week here in New York, which means just about the entire cigar industry is coming to town. It's been a busy week.
I started the week off right with Alan Rubin, owner of Alec Bradley cigars. He came by the office Monday morning to give me a sample of his newest brand, Alec Bradley Tempus, which goes on sale next week. He handed me a dark lancero, which I quickly clipped and lit.