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James Suckling

The Smoking Respite from a Long Evening of Food and Wine

Posted: Mar 13, 2009 4:43pm ET
I smoked a 2003 Bolivar Belicoso from a cedar cabinet last night with some friends following a long dinner of lots of food and wine at my house in Tuscany. The wines included a bottle of 1995 Mouton-Rothschild and a 1988 Léoville Las Cases, not to mention a number of 1997 Tuscans. The food was rich and heavy with lots of hearty pieces of grilled rabbit, sautéed spinach and potatoes roasted in fresh olive oil.

The dessert of coffee and cream ice cream from my local gelateria was put on the table and I couldn't resist. I pulled the cigars out and four of us cut them and fired them up. They were marvelous smokes showing a rich China tea, tobacco, and cedar character in aroma as well as flavor. The torpedo shaped smokes were elegant and beautiful to look at as well as to hold in your hand or put in your mouth. 91 points, unblind.

But at the same time, I realized that I was drinking a lot less at the end of the meal. The non-smokers were really knocking it back. I was just chilling with my cigar. And I find that I do that more and more, especially at home.

And this morning, my body and mind thanked me for it. No hangover.

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