View Full Version : Pipe tobacco analogous to over-oakey Chardonnay

11-01-2009, 05:44 PM
This actually stirs together the nominal topic matter here with piping: I've been a big wine appreciator since before college. In fact my dates with my to-be wife often consisted of spending Saturday afternoon at Berenson choosing a bottle of wine and then having a long repast built or chosen around the wine. I have attended loads of wine tastings and spent a lot of time in the 60's and 70's planning and giving wine tastings. So I've seen a lot of the wine snobbery/anti-snobbery scene.

One figment of conventional wisdom with wines is that some competition winners do not make for especially good drinking wines: with the infamous Chardonnay, for instance, a common way to lend it more character is to age it in oak barrels. So it is that a heavily (over)oaked Chardonnay will stand out from its competitors, sufficiently to win the contest. But to some, what results is a caricature of the genre, rather than something you might want to drink, with or without a meal.

Sooo - as I puff away, I'm wondering if there is a similar dynamic at work here with blends? Tastes and preferences are relative, of course, but still some ingestibles are more popular than others for reasons other than just marketing.

As I puff some of the often-worshipped and sometimes-vilified Peases, I do perceive an ingredient complexity, that once the juvenile period has transpired, makes for a more nuanced and contemplative smoke than some. But I could see some blends are demanding in attention (not just the burnability characteristics, though that is a consideration). This might be a little bit like comparing a full orchestral Beethoven experience with likable but forgettable elevator music. Not saying one is better than the other since situational context is important.

(Listening to some delightful Albinoni which wifey put on for the cat, while I figure what Latbomb and pipe to close the day with - might have preferred the Carpenters or Roseanne Cash , or maybe Miles Davis just now, but the cat rules)


Tennessee Dave
11-01-2009, 07:22 PM
I, too, love fine wines and really appreciate the nuances and layers of flavor that come from a really good bottle. In fact my love of wine and extensive opportunities to taste so many in my lifetime has had the effect of really sharpening my sense of taste. I very much appreciate the nuances that are found in scotches, bourbons, craft beers and tobacco. I think the way the tobacco is handled definitely influences the final taste profile. To me even pressing the tobacco changes it's flavor as does stoving a good Virginia tobacco. So IMHO you are right on the money.