I'm overwhelmed. There's just no other way to put it. My mailbox is overflowing. My phone hasn't stopped ringing. And, believe it or not, almost everywhere CIGAR AFICIONADO was available for sale, it sold out. A projected three-month supply was gone in only three weeks. Not bad for a premier issue print run of 140,000. Has this magazine tapped into people's passion or what?
In the last few months, a lot of my friends have heard me say that this has been the most exciting project in my 20 years of publishing. The news coverage of CIGAR AFICIONADO'S premier issue was well beyond our wildest imagination: Newsweek, CNN, Playboy, Esquire, Time, USA Today and The New York Times. And despite the antismoking fervor in America, we've received only positive reviews. Cigars have been portrayed in their rightful light as one of life's great pleasures.
Cigars also represent one of the world's most civilized pastimes. That's why there is a picture here of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of the renowned Bordeaux first growth Château Mouton-Rothschild. As one of the most cultured women in the world, the baroness understands the important role that cigars play in the ultimate appreciation of The Good Life. As she told CNN, cigar smoking is civilized. For that reason, plus the fact that she is also one of the world's great bon vivants, CIGAR AFICIONADO honored the baroness with its first Man of the Year award (see story, page 130). While this magazine remains dedicated to men who want to partake of the best things in life, we can't help but wish there were more women like the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. They would be more than welcome to join us in a fine smoke.
Since our magazine hit the streets in early September, retailers report that new customers are coming in, as well as former customers who are once again enjoying cigars. But we've also heard people ask, "So, what are you going to do next? Can you maintain the quality of the first issue?" Well, here it is. You judge.
Our cigar coverage includes an in-depth article on Cuba's prime growing region, the Vuelta Abajo, including interviews with Cuba's leading cigar rollers; an inside look at cigar wrappers grown in Connecticut, considered among the best in the world; and our favorite feature, a blind tasting with ratings of the grand cigar--the double Corona.
Check out the other stories too. There is a profile on Francis Ford Coppola. Anthony Haden-Guest, a Vanity Fair contributor, writes about playing poker in Las Vegas. There's a guide to collecting art and antiques in the '90s, put together by one of the premier auction houses in the United States. Neckties are explored as a simple way for a man to make a fashion statement. And, of course, much more.
We hope you enjoy reading our second issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Marvin R. Shanken
Editor and Publisher