Last weekend I was asked to retire with the men to partake in fine cigars and Vintage Port while the ladies chatted in the sitting room, and I was pinching myself a little bit. I couldn’t believe that my old high school buddy, Tom Unvert from Newport Harbor High School (I was known there as Jim Reordan), had finally conformed in Newport Beach to some of the civilized pleasures that I had learned while living in London. In fact, I am still a member of a men’s club in London, where cigars and fine Port are one of the main reasons to belong, although a new antismoking law in the United Kingdom has apparently stopped this.
Anyway, we had just finished dinner drinking a number of full-throttle Rhône-varietal California reds and whites. I had brought a bottle of 2003 Pontet-Canet that was fabulous. The bombshell brunette next to me said it was velvety and sexy. She preferred it to the California wine for its refined tannins, even though the wine was very young. The woman was obviously of very high taste ...
The shock, however, came when I saw all the guys putting on their coats. “I thought we were going to have a smoke and a glass of VP,” I said to Tommy.
“Outside man,” he said. “We don’t like smoke in the house.”
Oh, well. I guess it’s going to be the same in my club in London next time I am there in February. I better get used to it.
The 1985 Warre he decanted made up for the inconvenience. It was drinking beautifully as we shivered, puffed and sipped away. It was soft and fruity with loads of blackberry and raspberry character. Sweet and round textured, it still had a long life ahead of it. 93 points, non-blind. (Although it was so dark outside it should be noted as blind!)
There’s something great about hanging out with your friends smoking a cigar and drinking a glass of Port. It’s more than that. It’s just being together.