Posted: Apr 30, 2007 10:42am ET
I saw this this morning over my coffee, and I thought I better chime in. The parameters for aging cigars is always slightly subjective, but I prefer to have mine a little dry. That’s how it’s always been done in England, and the British are the specialists in aging smokes.
I prefer to keep my cigars around 65 percent humidity and 65 degrees. The latter is important to keep cool because warmer temperatures run the risk of allowing beetles to hatch and munch your sticks!
Anyway, here is a posting from Wine Spectator’s site on storing cigars in wine cellars. It’s from the Dr. Vinny section, which is a Q&A feature on the web.
April 27, 2007:
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I would like to start storing and presenting cigars openly in my wine cellar. Will it hurt my wine to store the cigars in the cellar side by side?
It won’t hurt your wine, but it might hurt your cigars. I checked with Gordon Mott, executive editor of Cigar Aficionado, and he says that the ideal condition for cigar storage is a 70 degree temperature at 70 percent humidity, which roughly matches the growing conditions of the tobacco.
However, the ideal storage for wine is 55 degrees at about 70 percent humidity. This means that wine cellar temperature is generally too cool to store cigars. Why would that matter? Well, for one, humidity is also relative to temperature. I know it sounds like magic (it’s science!) but for every drop in temperature degree below the ideal for cigars 70 degree temperature, you need to increase the humidity to keep cigars properly humidified. If the air is too cold, it won’t be able to hold enough moisture in suspension. So at 55 degrees, you’d need about 80 percent humidity. Over the long term, your cigars are likely to dry out in your wine cellar.
The good news is that cellars aren’t awful for short-term cigar storage, and that cool temperature will prevent the hatching of any dreaded tobacco beetles (ew!).
I think Dr. Vinny should smoke some cigars sometime! I keep my cigars in my cellar in Italy and they are stored perfectly… It’s usually about 62 degrees and 65 percent humidity, as I said before. It can get colder in the winter but then I just bring the cigars upstairs and let them warm up a bit before smoking. So, yes, you can cellar your cigars with your wine. That’s what I do!
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