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Puff Lifestyle
Like the perfect cigar, the smoker’s lifestyle is one focused on enjoyment and relaxation. At Puff Lifestyle, we discuss all avenues of lifestyle - great hotels that are cigar friendly, fantastic wines, cigar friendly dining, cool gadgets, lighters that actually work, hand carved cedar humidors...you get the idea. But we also cover the down to earth lifestyle interests as well: the most enjoyable reasonably priced cigars, best vacations on a budget, and the best way to stretch a buck...which has never been more important. Nothing is off topic!

Grilled Pork Brochettes with Confetti Rice Pilaf
Monday, 18 July 2005

Chef Phil's Weekly Recipe Updated Weekly Sausage and Vegetable Frittata Recipe Tomato Pie Recipe Grilled Pork Brochettes with Confetti Rice Pilaf Recipe Crab Stuffed Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon Recipe Pan Seared Soft Shell Crab Hoagie Recipe Seafood Stuffed Flounder with Tomato Dill Cream Recipe Garlic & Ancho Rubbed Porterhouse Steaks Recipe Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mornay Sauce Recipe Braised Garlic Short Ribs with a Red Wine Tomato Sauce Recipe Chef Phil's Brief Introduction to Cooking Grilled Pork Brochettes with Confetti Rice Pilaf Recipes will be updated weekly on Monday's. (This will give you enough time to get the ingredients and practice for next weekend's date.)  Weekly Recipe for July 18-24, 2005 Grilled Pork Brochettes with Confetti Rice Pilaf Prep Time: (marinade for 2 to 4 hours), then 20 minutes Cook Time: 10-15 minutes. Pork Brochettes: 2 lb. boneless pork loin (cut into 1” cubes) 1 cup soy sauce ¼ cup dark brown sugar ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2 tbl. dry mustard 1 tbl. worcestershire sauce 1 ea. 1 gal. ziploc storage bag 8 ea. 6” bamboo skewers (soaked for 30 minutes in boiling water) method: Bring 8 oz of water to a boil and put skewers in so they are completely covered with water and allow to soak for 30 minutes. Mix soy, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and worcestershire sauce and carefully pour into ziploc bag, place pork cubes in bag and push out all air and seal bag. allow pork to marinade for 2 to 4 hours. Skewer pork placing approximately 4 oz of pork per skewer, grill on and open fire that is of medium high heat or grill in an a grill pan, in either case cook all four sides of skewers for 10 to 15 minutes per side. serve on confetti rice and enjoy. Confetti Rice: 1 ½ cups of converted rice 3 cups of chicken broth ¼ cup golden raisins ¼ cup granny smith apples (diced to approximate size of raisins) ¼ cup onions (diced as above) ¼ cup red bell peppers (diced as above) 3 cloves of garlic (minced) zest of 1 lemon (minced) ½ bunch mint (stemmed and finely chopped) ¼ cup olive oil method: Bring chicken broth to a boil and add rice, bring back to a boil and turn down to low and cover, allow to cook for 25 to 40 minutes. in a separate pot large enough to accommodate rice and all other ingredients, place on a burner set to medium heat and add olive oil and allow to heat, then add raisins, apples, onions, peppers, garlic and lemon sauté until onions are translucent add cooked rice and mint and mix well. Place in center of plate placing 2 brochettes over the top and enjoy. Questions or comments? Email: chefphil@cigar-review.com © 2005 Cigar-Review.com, Kevin Godbee & Philipp V. Denfeld. Re-print with permission only. To get permission, email: kevin@cigar-review.com

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East India Ltd. Cigars
Monday, 16 June 2008

The East India Ltd. Cigar is made by K. Hansotia & Co. Photo by Michael Sherwood of Stiletto Studios in Clearwater, FL. {mosimage} To see the high quality larger picture ...

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Breaking News: Cigar Rights of America
Wednesday, 04 June 2008

{mosimage}The good news for Cigar Smokers is that it seems like our rights may finally have a champion.  Last weekend a member of our sister site, MyCigarFriends, posted about an email he received about the new Cigar Rights of America organization. The release was titled, "Cigar Rights Of America Announces The Formation Of The Grassroots Non-Profit Association Of Cigar Enthusiasts To Fight Tobacco Tax Increases And Smoking Bans." Frankly, we were skeptical of the validity of the news as we hadn't heard about it anywhere else, so we started checking with our sources. In the meantime, on Monday, Cigar Aficionado made a posting basically reiterating the press release. However, that was not good enough for the editors of Cigar Review. We are pleased to report that we have verified that that the Cigar Rights of America is a new consumer-driven organization. We have received commentary and input from various highly-placed executives at different cigar companies. This information is being complied today for publication this afternoon. We wanted to get this exciting breaking news to our readers as soon as possible. Please stay tuned for the full story with exclusive commentary and the unveiling of the new Cigar Rights of America logo right here on Cigar-Review.com. More information on Cigar Rights of America (Part 2) Cigar Rights of America - Interview with Jeffrey Borysiewicz of Corona Cigar (Part 3)

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What's Smoking in October
Tuesday, 07 October 2008

{mosimage} Janny Garcia Perez and her husband, Amilcar Perez, welcomed their third child, and third son, on 4 September. The baby, Jacob, joins his older brothers Joseph and Joshua. When the baby was brought home, he was seen reaching for one of grandfather Pepin Garcia's excellent cigars. A future tabaquero in the making, to continue the tradition of Don Pepin and his uncle, Jaime Garcia. Congratulations to Maria and Pepin Garcia, Janny and Amilcar and the whole Garcia family. Speaking of Pepin Garcia and a new baby, I hear that Pepin and Nestor Miranda, of Miami Cigar & Company, are collaborating on something really special. Well, I'll go a step further, since I've smoked it, and tell you it is something really special!

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A Brief History of Wine
Monday, 08 September 2008

Wine History Wine was with us long before recorded history began; it has been said that winemaking is as old as human civilization itself. At present we have archeological evidence of wine going back about ten thousand years. Ancient artifacts with identifiable wine residue have been uncovered in many places, but based on the concentration of artifacts and the diversity of sub-species of the wine grapevine now present, we believe that winemaking began somewhere in the area known as the Transcaucasus (where modern-day Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and parts of Turkey and Iran are located.) Many of the social, religious, medicinal and ceremonial uses of wine have their origins in the ancient world. Wine was already a popular commodity among the wealthy and powerful in Ancient Mesopotamia. King Hammurabi of Babylon included several articles regulating the production and commercialization of wine in his celebrated legal code (c. 1760 B.C.) The Egyptians also developed a sophisticated wine culture. The masses drank beer, but wine production was a Pharaonic prerogative; the best wines were reserved for the elite of Egyptian society. Wine urns in Tutankhamen’s tomb (c. 1350 B.C.) featured hieroglyphic "labels" with information including the winemaker's name, the vineyard, the type of wine and the vintage (expressed as a specific year in the reign of a particular Pharaoh.) "Wine is life." The prolific maritime traders of Phoenicia, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, were introducing wine (along with the phonetic alphabet) to populations around the Mediterranean around 1,000 B.C. This practice was continued by the Greeks and later by the Romans, who developed viticulture throughout their Empire. Many of modern Europe's most famous vineyards were originally planted during this period. The great physicians, philosophers and poets of the classical world were lavish in their praise of wine; perhaps Petronius was the most succinct when he said "Wine is life." In the first century A.D. in Egypt, Coptic monks began the tradition of winemaking in Christian monasteries. As the church gained wealth and power it acquired or developed many of the great wine producing properties in Europe. The Cistercian order, established in 1098 in France, emphasized a return to working the land, and its growth in the ensuing period led to the spread of quality grape varieties to regions around the continent. When the Vikings first visited America (c. 1000) they named it “Vinland” because of the profusion of wild grapevines they observed. Those vines were of a different species, however (classic wine grapes are from the species vitis vinifera; we can talk about grape varieties in a later column) and the American vines yield grapes that aren’t well suited to producing wines in the traditional styles (they can be - and are - used for winemaking, but they produce wines that are different.) Within a few years of landing in the Americas, the Spanish were taking grapevines to their colonies in what is now Mexico; in 1524 Hernan Cortes decreed that planting vineyards would be a condition of Spanish land grants. Among other uses, wine was needed for religious rituals; the Spanish missionaries planted their own grapevines, and eventually introduced winemaking as far north as Sonoma in California. In the 1600s, as colonization was extending wine production to various places around the globe, advances in glassmaking technology resulted in cheaper, stronger bottles, and cork came into use as a closure. This enhanced the potential for storage and transport, thereby expanding wine's commercial possibilities. European colonists on America's East Coast had high hopes for a wine industry of their own, but found that their imported grapevines generally didn't thrive due to certain pests native to the eastern states. Some of those pests eventually got back to Europe and devastated vineyards there; one in particular, phylloxera (a kind of aphid that, in the larval stage, lives underground and attacks the vines' roots) proved impossible to get rid of. After suffering terrible losses, it was found that some American grapevines are resistant to phylloxera, and that vitis vinifera vines could be grafted onto American rootstocks. With some exceptions, that is now the practice worldwide. Recovering a vineyard ravaged by disease is a costly and time-consuming process; some producers were tempted to mitigate their losses by selecting grape varieties and agricultural practices for rapid growth and high yield rather than optimum quality. Beginning in the 1920s in France, regional organizations were established which regulated the sort of grapes that could be planted and the agricultural and winemaking methods that could be employed. The contemporary incarnations of those organizations, whose stamp can often be seen on the back label of wine bottles from traditional wine producing regions, are considered guarantors of quality and authenticity, and provide an indication of the style of wine one should expect. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) first explained that fermentation is not a "spontaneous event" but rather a consequence of microbiological activity. Since that time, we have learned a great deal about wine from a scientific perspective and our understanding of the processes involved has given us some ability to control them, leading to improvements in wine quality throughout the world. At present there is more wine - and better wine - available than at any other time in history. More people than ever before are enjoying good wine. It is argued that excessive manipulation of natural processes to suit mass-market demands has led to generic, "global" wine styles that reflect winemaking technology rather than the land where the grapes are grown. There is some truth to that argument, but as more and more consumers cultivate their own preferences, I think that we will see renewed interest in diverse wines that can offer us a broad range of enjoyment.  

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