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Cigars and Champagne: a complete Henri Giraud experience

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Champagne Henri Giraud’s cellars are treasured by fine wine connoisseurs the world over.  But another treasure awaits those wanting to enjoy a unique holistic experience: the maison’s cigar cellar.

Henri Giraud evokes the many ways in which the worlds of champagne and cigars are connected. The aromatic complementarity, the comparable retro-olfactory sensations and the flavour complexity offer sophisticated pairing possibilities.

Cigars and Champagne – the marriage of two worlds of sophisticated complexity

The parallels between the worlds of fine smokes and wine go well beyond aromas, flavours and pairing though.

With fine cigars, as with champagne, unique terroirs create depth and character. Only a complex and expressive cigar creates the swirl of smoke needed to go with a great champagne cuvée. Indeed, the creation of a great cigar and of an HG champagne have much in common. Different terroirs, different varieties, different qualities of leaves or must crafted through separate fermentations which then come together for a long period of ageing, sometimes in oak barrels for the finest parcels – the alchemic transformation and maturation in small containers results in the extraordinary complexity that is the sign of a great cigar. And that of a great champagne too.

For Henri Giraud, this know-how and craftsmanship intrinsically connects the two worlds . A “family trait” that means all kinds of marriages are possible. The most intriguing? The one named “Beauty and the Beast” which pairs a Partagas E2 cigar with the ‘Esprit Nature’ cuvée: pure contrast of hot and cold which is an amazing pairing for an apéritif on a fresh palate. If you prefer harmonic, rather than contracting, matches, then we suggest the power and complexity of a Puro Cohiba Behike and of an Argonne Aÿ Grand Cru.

Ratafia Champenois ‘Vieillissement Prolongé’

2021 was a particularly good year to explore new sensations thanks to the creation of a unique Ratafia Champenois. Designed around the idea of a perfect pairing with a fine cigar, Henri Giraud’s Ratafia Champenois ‘Vieillissement Prolongé’ is, first and foremost, a journey back to what has been a family tradition since 1625 and is at the very roots of Champagne. This liqueur, an extension of Champagne’s culture and taste, was, for a long time, a very popular stomach medicine! Combining medical and social traditions, Ratafia Champenois is now considered a fine drink, recognised as a very natural liqueur and adopted by bartenders to create new, innovative cocktails.

How is Ratafia Champenois made? The artisanal process is a natural extension of the vinification process that results in the base wines for champagne. A champagne press takes in 4,000 kilos of grapes; this juice pressed first is used for the traditional method sparkling wine while the last 116 litres pressed from non-fermented must is what is used for Ratafia Champenois – this is the Ratafia’s soul. This juice is treated with the same care as that which is vinified to make champagne, and is then distilled into an eau de vie of Champagne wine. The process is kept as natural as possible, retaining the real flavour of the fresh grape and preserving its nutritional and textural qualities. Henri Giraud’s Ratafia Champenois ‘Vieillissement Prolongé’ has become a new and exciting element to create ever more surprising pairings.

Even as generations change within the estate, the energy created by such marriages of flavours, textures and crafts, a sign of really special moments of life, continues to be what drives the Henri Giraud Experience.

Discover more about Champagne Henri Giraud here

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