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Cigar Events Showcase Stogies As Delicacies

I thought the Smokey Mountains were in North Carolina?

We spend lots of time on our blog fretting about increased regulations on cigars and railing against those who don’t understand that premium handrolled stogies are completely different from than the cigarettes that most tobacco legislation attempts to curtail. Today while skimming recent cigar news I came across some encouraging events that give me hope that the general public perception of cigars might be changing a little. I see a fine cigar as a luxurious enjoyable delicacy, on par with a well-aged bottle of wine, a delectable dessert from a master chef or a perfectly crafted microbrew beer.

None of these enjoyable treats are particularly great for your health, but enjoyed in moderation health risks from all are minimal. They all also provide some of life’s best enjoyment in return, and it’s not like any of us are getting out of this alive! However, in my experience if I try to equate the health risk of the occasional Arturo Fuente with the health risk of the occasional slice of double-chocolate cake the person I’m speaking to starts to look at me like there is another head growing out of my shoulder. Maybe it’s just my left-wing neighbors here in New York, but to me the irony of our company’s “unhealthy” product being taxed nearly to extinction while I have to drive past 2 thriving McDonald’s locations on my 8 minute daily commute is thicker than the smoke from a La Flor Double Ligero.

Fortunately, some people might be seeing the light!  For starters, I about fell out of my chair when I learned that hippie-Mecca Boulder, CO has decided to host their own Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival. Boulder is home to a host of strict cigarette smoking bans, and so it’s great for me to see this town in particular embracing a cigar event. It proves that someone there with a little power can see a difference between the two! The event looks like it’ll be a great time; I certainly encourage anyone in the area to check it out. In addition to a freebie selection of premium smokes they’ve lined up a bunch of celebrity guests (including Vito from the Sopranos), an all-you-can-eat buffet and some live music. They claim that if it goes well they want to make it an annual cigar-bash, so get out there and support it!

Closer to home, I also caught a great article about the upcoming Atlantic City Wine & Food Festival. Now, of course AC is on the other side of the coin when it comes to regulating smoking. However, this event is obviously billed as prestigious uber-foodie party featuring coverage from the Food Network and presentations by an array of celebrity chefs. Included in their program is the Maker’s Mark sponsored Cigar & Whisky Gala. Fittingly hosted at Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar at Bally’s Casino, this event will be an educational experience teaching smokers about pairing stogies with food as well as hands on instruction on the art of rolling cigars. From where I’m sitting, this Gala is a natural fit to the array of gustatory delights on display. I am admittedly a little biased, so I can appreciate that while it makes perfect sense to us, it is a big step for our hobby to be associated with an event like this one. I can only hope it’s a sign of things to come. The more cigars are presented in this light, the bigger the distinction between them and other tobacco products becomes. You know the Food Network isn’t going to let Marlboro or Skoal set up a tent!

These both look like great events for us cigar lovers. Hopefully generating this kind of publicity showcasing cigars as a premium delicacy will get it through the heads of those “all tobacco is the devil” people that cigars are different. While I’m up here on my soapbox, I might as well plug the Cigar Rights of America group, please check out their website and join to protect your right to enjoy cigars!