It`s been nine years since I gave up smoking cigars, and, until now, it never occurred to me I could have enjoyed the smoking ritual with food. I would have a beer with a smoke, or a glass of wine, but cigar “matching” or “pairing” never occurred to me; me, someone who has been wine and food taster my whole working life. The age-old alchemy which Aristotle neatly coined “the whole being greater than the sum of its parts”, when applied to the taster matching wine with food, involves choosing a similar, or sometimes a contrasting wine, to show both food and wine in the best possible light. Said taster weighs the balance, or deliberately contrasts. But what I did not know, is that you can choose a cigar to further the experience as well. The Alchemist now has three parts to work with. Yes, smoking, while eating and drinking. Of course, smoking while drinking is more commonplace, but why not draw on a big fat cigar, exhale, sit back, exult in the pleasure of it, then take a mouthful of food, before washing it all down with a delicious wine? Furthermore, it reasons to pick the cigar to fit the moment; I`m told a cigar with similar, not contrasting, characteristics. For example, a strong, powerful cigar with a big, full-bodied red, accompanied by a full-flavoured, meaty dish. A milder smoke with a lighter red, or even a white, with a lighter dish. Even better, since smoke, tobacco leaf and cigar box are characteristics found in some wines, a taster might select one of these. Northern Rhone reds, for example, or a Barolo. Indeed, a great many oak-aged wines, red and white, can develop woodsmoke and spice characteristics, and even a mellow Cohiba-like, creamy palate, so the taster can work with all of that, for the best possible combination. In our shop, ladies, and gentlemen, we have smoked food products, hundreds of oaked wines, as well as cigars, everything you need. If you are a cigar smoker, indulge and enjoy.