Habanos-Rioja Alliance: A Unique Experience


26/02/2013

Eager to know the quality of two unique gourmet products in the world and willing to come up with a dream combination between both proposals, Cuban and foreign veteran sommeliers attending the 15th Habano Festival signed up for the blind tasting in the preliminary round of the Habanos D.O.P. (Protected Denomination of Origin) and Rioja wines D.O.C.A. (Qualified Denomination of Origin).

During the gathering, chaired by Victor Pascual, president of the Rioja Regulatory Council, Habanos S.A. vice presidents Jorge Luis Fernandez Maique, Javier Terres and Fidel Sanchez Triano, plus outstanding musician and composer Leo Brouwer, a couple of Piramides cigars were paired with twelve red wines hailing from this one-and-only Spanish region.

Fernando Fernandez, a consultant with Habanos S. A., said that in this special opportunity a dozen wines from twelve different Rioja cellars made it to the finale out of a pack of nearly 40 labels that had previously competed in Spain.

For his part, Victor Pascual, spelled out the details about this Spanish winemaking region, considered the country’s oldest denomination of origin and one of the world’s leading brands. Today, Rioja owns over 600 cellars that produce fresh, scented and well-balanced wines of terrific bouquet. 

Given the geographic and climatic diversity of the three winemaking subregions -Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa- the place is home to wines that boast an assortment of features, including white wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or red wines like Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Granillo, Maturana Tinta, among others.

However, this time around –he said- the main objective is to strike the right cord between these two unique products on the face of the earth. 

And under the aroma and enchantment of the two cigars and the exquisite scent of the wines, Terres suggested an interactive encounter among all participants and urged them to leave their comments as the alliance between the wines and the Habanos was making progress.