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Enjoying a Toscano cigar on its own can be a divine experience, but pairing it with the right wine or spirit can enhance its flavors in ways hitherto unexpected. With the help of The Toscano in a Wineglass, an excellent book on the art of cigar and wine pairing, let us examine two of our best selling Toscano cigars and how their complexities can be melded with and built upon, enhancing the quality of both cigar and wine.
The name means "extra-aged" in Italian, Toscano Extravecchio exudes a pleasant smokiness before it has even been lit, coupled with a tangier scent of fermentation. The taste is a firm balance among sweetness, salty and spicy, ending on a slightly bitter aftertaste, which adds another aspect to stabilizing it. The complexity of this cigar, made of 100% Italian Kentucky tobacco, pairs well with excellent vintages with delicate tannins. For white, we recommend late harvests, raisin wines with strong structure and intensities, but not overtly sweet - Verdiccio dei Castelli di Jesi from Marche, Moscato from Trani, Vin Santo from Chianti, Caluso Passito from Canavese. And for red, we recommend wines with sturdy body and very delicate tannins - Barolo from Piedmont, Brunello from Montalcino, Vino Nobile from Montepulciano, Rosso Piceno from Marche, Morellino from Scansano, Montepulciano from Abruzzo.
A highly complex cigar, Toscano Antico's initial strong wafts of invitingly warmed wood are built upon, in time, by lighter intimations of spice. Finally a rawness finishes off the experience, making for a fantastic counterpoint to the overall woody quality. Pairing it with a strong red can prove rewarding with time, but on a first pass may produce a bitterness that is overwhelming. For white, we recommend late harvests and raisin wines with an intense body and persistent sweetness such as Recioto di Soave from Veneto, Marsala Vergine from Sicily, Ramandolo from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Muffato della Sala from Umbria. And for red, we recommend more delicate, well structured wines such as Super Tuscans from Bolgheri, Carbernet from Veneto, Savuto from Calabria.
In the end, of course, you must trust your own palate. Whichever wine or spirit selection you find to lift your Toscano cigar to new heights is, undoubtedly, the right one for you.