Cigar Buying Guides

2018 CA Report: Top 10 Red Wine and Cigar Pairings

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Updated January 2022

The 10 Best Cigars to Pair with Red Wine

Next to a dog, a premium cigar is the perfect companion. To be enjoyed alone or among friends, to celebrate those big moments in life (like the birth of a child, holidays, or anniversary), or after a tasty meal, maybe with a cup of coffee—or something a little stronger like bourbon, rum, brandy, or beer. But what about wine. And I’m not talking Mad Dog 20/20 or Ripple. Real wine. Red wine. Cigars and red wine are an oft overlooked pairing that can lead to a remarkable experience.

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairingswine glass, bottle, and barrel in front of a stone wall

 

But Seriously, Why Do Cigars and Red Wine Go Together?

An interesting fact is that wine and cigars are made in similar ways. It all begins with tobacco or grape varietals, respectively. These seeds are cultivated in different climates and countries, yielding distinctive cigar leaves and fruit. Finally, comes the fermentation, blending, aging, and transformation into the end product.

While red wines vary in style from full bodied and bone dry to light and sweet, you’ll want to drink something on the dry side and with a fuller body. It’s this style of red wine that pairs exceptionally well with premium cigars.

These are 5 red wines that I enjoy and can recommend you try the next time you sit down to smoke a cigar.

Rioja Reserva

These Spanish wines are aged a minimum of 3 years, and often longer. An exceptional wine to accompany a hearty meal and robust cigar. This deep and dry red delivers notes of dark cherries, leather, earth, tobacco, cedar, and dried fruits.

Cabernet Sauvignon

You can easily find an excellent quality and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon from  California or Australia. The classic combination of a Cab and steak is equaled—if not surpassed—by enjoying this red with a premium cigar.

Beaujolais Villages

The classic French table wine. Lighter in body than both Rioja Reserva and Cabernet Sauvignon, Beaujolais Villages can stand up to beef and game meats as well as chicken and seafood. This red is delicate and subtle and is a great combination with your evening cigar.

Pinot Noir

This fussy and stubborn grape yields what’s widely considered the best and most expensive wines on the planet (just google DRC wine prices). But you can still find plenty of affordable and excellent quality Pinot’s produced in Oregon, Washington, and California. Like Beaujolais Villages, this red is nuanced and elegant, with notes of fruit and berries, and can be savored with a variety of food and cigars.

Shiraz (Syrah)

Known as Syrah in France and as Shiraz most other places, this full-bodied red is spicy, dry, and complex with notes of pepper and fruit. An Australian or California Shiraz is a perfect wine to have with a full-flavored cigar.

 

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings wine bottle grapes and glass with a cigar burning next to it

 

So, Tell Me Already, What Cigars Pair Well with Red Wine?

After much experimentation—and many bottles of vino and cigars—here’s a list of 10 cigars to try with a bottle of wine:

 

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos 

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings arturo fuente don carlos at famous smoke shop

This full-bodied and spicy Fuente is a favorite of many cigar enthusiasts. You’ll pick up notes of espresso, dark chocolate, cedar, black pepper, and baking spices. This elegant cigar pairs exceptionally well with Rioja Reserva or Shiraz.

 

Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Rare Collection

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings aging room rare collection at famous smoke shop

This collaboration between blend masters Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez is medium to medium plus in body and delivers notes of coffee, earth, baking spices, and cedar with subtle, but noticeable pepper. Pair the Aging Room Rare Collection with a Beaujolais Villages or Pinot Noir for an unforgettable treat.

 

Villiger Exclusivo 2020 USA

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings villiger exclusivo at famous smoke shop

E.P. Carrillo has been on a bona fide winning streak with a stream highly rated and awarded cigar releases. Don’t overlook this Famous-exclusive Villager; it’ll entrance you with a nuanced medium bodied profile with flavors of cedar, baking spices, pepper, coffee, and sweetness. Enjoy this cigar with a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz to experience a perfect pairing.

 

Padron 3000 Maduro

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings padron at famous smoke shop

I shouldn’t have to sell you on how delicious the Padron Thousand Series are. These medium-plus to full Nicaraguan powerhouses are box pressed and display notes of coffee, hazelnuts, and dark chocolate. Try a Padron with a Beaujolais Villages or Rioja Reserva and delight in how the flavors of both cigar and wine marry perfectly.

 

HVC Serie A

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings hvc serie a at famous smoke shop

Cubanesque gets thrown around a lot in the cigar world, but more often than not the cigar fails to live up to the hype. That’s not the case with HVC Serie A. This medium to full bodied blend delights with notes of nuts and caramel with an underlying floral element. HVC Serie A is a great match for Pinot Noir or Shiraz.

 

Drew Estate MUWAT Nightcrawler

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings drew estate muwat at famous smoke shop

This unheralded gem from Drew Estate is one of the best bangs for your buck cigars on the market. It pairs its affordable price tag with a host of premium flavors like coffee, chocolate, dark cherries, and bread. You can’t miss with enjoying this MUWAT alongside a Rioja Reserva or Beaujolais Villages.

 

El Gueguense – The Wise Man

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings el gueguense the wise man at famous smoke shop

Meaning ‘the wise man,’ this cigar from Drew Estate veteran Nick Melillo and AJ Fernandez features a spicy sweet Corojo wrapper and delivers an experience that’s chock full of flavor. You’ll want to have this cigar with a Cabernet Sauvignon or Rioja Reserva

 

Oliva Serie V Melanio

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings oliva serie v melanio at famous smoke shop

Unless you just landed on planet Earth, you’re familiar with the Oliva Serie V Melanio. A permanent resident of best of lists and a favorite among cigar enthusiasts, this blend is full flavored yet ultra-smooth. This profile lends itself to an exquisite pairing with a Beaujolais Villages or Pinot Noir.

 

Brick House

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings brick house at famous smoke shop

I can’t see this cigar without singing that Commodores ditty in my head (she’s a…). Set that aside a minute, and you have a cigar that’s flown under the radar for far too long. Affordable and premium in every way, Brick House from JC Newman offers up that classic flavor profile that had many of us falling in love with cigars to begin with. Creamy with a side of spice, Brick House seems made to be enjoyed with Shiraz or Rioja Reserva.

 

Romeo y Julieta Eternal

cigar advisor top 10 cigars and red wine pairings romeo y julieta eternal at famous smoke shop

The RyJ Eternal was so good it made our very own 10 Best Cigars of 2021 list. A collaboration between Rafael Nodal and the Plascencia family, this blend is a limited edition that features rare and aged tobaccos. The complex and balanced flavor profile—with nuances of baking spice, pepper, honey, and fruit marries perfectly with Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.

The next time you’re getting ready to enjoy a premium cigar, take a look at having some red wine along with it for a superior pairing. Let me know your favorite wine and cigar combos in the comments below.

 

22 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kap Kaplowitz
4 years ago

Tawny Port is the moolah.

Pete Graziano
4 years ago

I Smoke most cigars paired with my homemade wine. It’s the bomb.
In the winter a good port and a Maduro is a great combo.

Giles Light
4 years ago

Interesting, though I normally prefer a stick with beer or whisky. As an aside, the article describes Java as “This medium-bodied premium …” while the Famous Smokel Shop describes it as “a mild to medium-bodied box-pressed…”

Ron Tramazzo
4 years ago

I love sipping a good wine with my cigars!

Angela Jeffery-Alexander
4 years ago

Excellent article and resourceful information worth hold on to, you really did a great job pairing cigars and wine 🍷

Chris Eckstein
4 years ago

Totally agree a nice medium+ cigar pairs well with the reds. Great reference to use for cigars I’ve not had the opportunity to try yet. Keep up the good work as this was as good read!!

Curt Renow
4 years ago

Can totally agree with you Z-man on the Tatty, Romeo, and the Don Carlos #2. Those 3 are well stocked in my humidor. I also love the Montecristo #2 (Cuban) with my red wine.

Jon Leffew
4 years ago

Ever try a Kristoff with a nice tawny port?……SUBLIME

Bożena Dragosz
4 years ago

Cigars are also interesting in combination with white wines like Italian pinig grigio or champagnes :-)

Eduardo Reyna
2 years ago

Today I ate tamales with a Portuguese Port and am fixing to smoke a Rocky Patel .
The spices from the Texas tamale n the port were fabulous and full of flavor . Enjoyed it to the fullest .

Leo Leal
10 months ago
Reply to  Eduardo Reyna

Hey Eduardo, being also of Latino/Mexican origin, some of our cuisine really is elevated when pairing a good wine and cigar combo. ¡Échele compadre!

Bob Ofenloch
2 years ago

Outstanding article!! I’m smokin a Ashton Cabinet what’s a good red wine that would go with it?

David Stephens
10 months ago

You mention WA wines only once and suggest Pinot Noir. This shows your lack of knowledge of WA wines. The area of Red Mountain in Eastern WA is world renowned for growing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. Walla Walla is also recognized for top red wine varietals. Next time do your homework.

David Stephens
10 months ago
Reply to  David Stephens

Also as an avid cigar smoker, please feel free to contact me if you need additional info on WA wines.

Paul Lukens
10 months ago
Reply to  David Stephens

Thank you for your reply. I’m sure Washington state Cabernet’s are excellent, and I’ll have to keep an eye out for them in the future. If you were to have a great cigar with your next glass of WA red, what would it be?

Last edited 10 months ago by Paul Lukens
David Stephens
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Lukens

Recently I have been enjoying the Romeo Capulet 80th Anniversary and also Oliva Serie O cigars while watching football with a glass of WA red wine.
For the wines, I could recommend a Tapteil 2017 Cab Sauv, a Kiona 2019 Lemberger, or a Hightower 2018 Merlot. These are all Red Mountain wines. Cheers
1

Leo Leal
10 months ago

Years ago, a couple of friends from different cigar forums (USA and Spain) were aghast when I mentioned the “blasphemy” of pairing cigars and tinto, saying, “it destroys both the cigar and the wine”. To which I say, with no disrespect: IDGa hoot! I just enjoy the combination of a great cigar with wine, in my case there’s a bias to an Old Vine Zinfandel, but any decent red will do. Great article, thanks!

Paul Lukens
10 months ago
Reply to  Leo Leal

Thank you for your comment Leo. And I couldn’t agree more, a decent Old Vine Zin–with its high tannins and peppery notes makes for an excellent combo with a good cigar. While some tend to go for a spicy cigar to match a big, full red, sometimes a nice, creamy Dominican offers a welcome contrast. What cigars do you pair with a Zin?

Stillman
10 months ago

Dry reds and whites seem to pair good with cigars. Why, don’t know.
I only know that wet(sweet) wines don’t, for me anyway!

Paul Lukens
10 months ago
Reply to  Stillman

Thanks for your comment. I recently had a dry Muscadet, the first time trying one, and really enjoyed it with a Fuente Rosado. Muscadet also pairs extremely well with mussels and fries. Cheers and long ashes.

Rohit Chand
10 months ago

Thank you for the wonderful content. These cigars go so well with these wines.

Paul Lukens
10 months ago
Reply to  Rohit Chand

Thank you for your comment Rohit. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

Paul Lukens

Paul Lukens

Copywriter

Paul first fell in love with the leaf back in college, where he majored in Philosophy (yes, seriously). Upon graduating, Paul stared into the abyss and unemployment stared back. He responded by founding the ‘Pounding Fathers,’ a traveling Beer Pong team with the other Philosophy grad at UMass. Aspiring to subsist on more than Ramen Noodles and Natural Ice, Paul put down his ping pong balls and picked up a pen - and a cigar - and began working in the premium cigar industry in 2013.

Show all Paul Lukens' Articles
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - cover

#NowSmoking: Montecristo Espada Signature

Reading Time: 4 minutes This week we’re reviewing Montecristo Espada Signature Valiente—the latest in their ‘sword’ themed Nicaraguan puro lineup. Watch the review to help you decide if you should add it to your rotation!

Read More
cigar advisor best father's day cigar gift guide - cover

Best Cigar Gifts For Dad On Father’s Day

Reading Time: 11 minutes Looking for the perfect cigar gift for Dad? See our definitive list in the the Cigar Advisor Best Father’s Day Cigar Gift Guide and find one fast!

Read More
cigar advisot top new cigars december 6 2021 cover

CA Report: Top New Cigars (December 6, 2021)

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s early December – get ready for the holidays with these new cigar arrivals from Asylum, Drew Estate, and Hoyo de Monterrey

Read More
top new cigars march 23 2018 CACover

CA Report: Top New Cigars – Mar. 23 2018

In this college hoops-rich edition of Top New Cigars, we’ve got all the crafty goodness from boutique cigar maker RoMa Craft - plus a hot-off-the-press exclusive from AJ Fernandez. Grab a cold one and settle in for the Madness with your next victory cigar!
Read More