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Smoking with Michael Schumacher

We all have our personal heroes, and the top Formula One driver has always been one of my favorites
James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Bill Murray, Nov/Dec 2004

(continued from page 1)

Schumacher was standing by himself in one corner of the room, looking rather isolated and lonely as 30 or so Italians occasionally glanced at him. I guess they were too embarrassed to talk to the driver, or they were simply in awe. It was easy to understand their bashfulness because after the Pope, Ferrari and Schumacher are considered national icons.

Schumacher was dressed casually in his jeans, plaid shirt and brown suede jacket, and I was trying to figure out a cool way to walk over and strike up a conversation. Then I saw that he was smoking a cigar and drinking a glass of red wine.

I walked over and said. "Hey what are you smoking tonight? Is that a Davidoff?"

"Yes," he said, puffing away on a No. 1, the slim elegant cigar from Davidoff in the Dominican Republic. "I enjoy smoking a cigar when I am relaxing like tonight."

He said that he buys most of his cigars near his home in Switzerland. "I smoke lots of different cigars, from Cubans to Davidoffs, but I find that the Davidoffs are always good and they are less strong than the Cubans," he went on.

"But when you smoke Cubans, what do you normally buy?" I asked.

"I like the Partagas 8-9-8," he said. "They have good flavor and I like the size…so what do you think about this wine?

Schumacher was drinking a glass of 2000 Sette Ponte Crongolo, a Tuscan red made of Sangiovese and Merlot. My neighbor, the party's host, makes it.

"I like it," I said rather timidly. "It's a good, elegant Tuscany red."

"Seems sort of thin to me," Schumacher said, looking at his glass of wine as if there was a hole in it. "I prefer a wine with more body, like a Australian Shiraz."

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