Cigar Zin 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel

Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe;

Return in peace to the ocean, my love;

I too am part of that ocean, my love–we are not so much separated;

Behold the great rondure–the cohesion of all, how perfect!

From Out of the Rolling Ocean, the Crowd by Walt Whitman


There are very few things that go together as well as a good cigar and a fine wine. They are drops in the same ocean; a vast sea of taste and passion moved by a churning tide of tradition. If wine is history in a glass, then surely cigars are the same in an oily maduro wrapper.

The history of both Griffy on Wine and Good Smoke dates back nearly 30 years, when the two authors met for the first time, face to face, as father and son. Over the last couple of years the blogs have run autonomously from one another, more side-by-side than in tandem, but we have a special treat this week: Griffy on Wine’s first guest blogger! Welcome to Cruzgriffy on Wine.

While you got the tale of the smoke on the trip to the Jersey shore in 2013, the reality is that evening was as much about the wine as it was the cigar. While a wine-infused cigar is an intriguing concept, it pales in comparison to a bottle of the real deal. Cigar Zin is the real deal, and it has since cemented itself as my favorite wine.

My 2012 Cigar Zin Old Vine Zinfandel hailed from California, specifically from the Lodi, Mendocino, and High Valley regions. The blend of 90% Zinfandel, 5% Petit Sirah, and 5% Syrah begins with the grapes being sorted and fermented for seven days. The wine then ages for 11 months in a 50/50 composite barrel of French and American oak.

When I popped the cork I was overwhelmed with the fragrance of black cherries. My wine palate isn’t the most defined in the world, but I have a pretty good sense of smell, and the powerful scent was unmistakable. The liquid that poured from the bottle had the color of blood; deep, hearty red. If what my father taught me was true, I would deem this a young wine, as the richness of the red wasn’t fully opaque. But, as is the case with anything you put in your mouth, the real selling point of the Cigar Zin was the taste. The cherry flavor wasn’t just an hint, it was a bold statement. The wine was drier, fuller-bodied, and spicy. On the finish, I got almost a vanilla creaminess that made the Cigar Zin a wonderfully smooth drink.

The Cigar Zin motto is “Grab life by the bottle,” and I couldn’t agree more. It was mere coincidence that I was drawn to this bottle, more my love of cigars themselves than a foreknowledge of the product. Still, even if it was dumb luck that brought it to my attention, I’m at least being struck dumb by a mouthful of delicious wine.


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