October is right around the corner and I am filled with excitement. I am ready to take the four-hour drive to Houston to go to The Wingding put on by Stogies World Class Cigars of Houston, Texas. I am wondering what food trucks will be there? What desserts the pastry chef will serve? What cigars will be in my entry pack? I cannot wait to see who will be there and reconnect with people I met last year.

Have you been to a large cigar event? In my opinion you should try at least one for all the reasons I listed above and more.

” We are the only 501C3 does what we do. Sending to our deployed troops men and women premium cigars We average 25 to 35 thousand a month with a 100% volunteer staff. We also send coffee, cutters and lighters.” – Cigar for Warriors

At big events, there are usually great cigar deals going on with great extras. That alone would bring me running; but the best part is speaking to the representatives, rollers, blenders and owners. I am the true cigar nerd. I want to know what tobacco leaves they chose. I want to know more about how they came up with the blend and why.  I want to know when I can get the newest cigar at my local lounge, so I can talk about how I discovered it at the event all while smoking it. It is a great opportunity to see what is new with each of the lines as well.

“I started Room 101 as a jewelry collection in 2003. I met in early 2008 the gentleman who was the marketing director for Casa Cigars. We hit it off and he was enamored with my brand and what I’ve been able to build. He felt my brand would translate to a cigar brand and being a cigar smoker, it was a mutually agreed it was a no brainer.” – Matt Booth

The food is out of this world. Food trucks are hip and usually have outrageously good food. Jorge (owner of Stogies) and Jenny (manager) have found some of the best trucks in Houston. There were several trucks which allows you to have some options. I went with a friend and we each received a food ticket; so, we each chose different items and shared. He had a rib plate to die for from one truck and I had some jasmine rice from another of the trucks and it melted in my mouth. I swear I could eat it every day. The cigar cake made by the amazing pastry chefs at FLO Paris was beautiful and decadent. There were enough delightful food, divine deserts, and potent adult beverages to mix in with the outstanding cigars, one’s palate will never get bored.

“Oscar came up with the idea of wrapping the cigar in a leaf, he helped me market it as my brand. He had seen a picture of a Mayan mummy they dug up and it looked like he was holding a cigar wrapped in a leaf.” – Island Jim

I have started many stories with “I never drink, but ….” The truth is I enjoy a good scotch, whiskey, rum or wine. There is nothing more relaxing to me than having some Weller and a cigar.  Jorge does not skimp on the alcohol selections. The Balvenie was so smooth. I would take a sip and then draw on my cigar and every trouble I thought I had seemed to slip away. There were local craft beer brewers there as well, so if you are more of a beer drinker, you were taken care of as well. There are several cigars which go well with IPAs.

Should you have the opportunity to visit Houston during this event you won’t be disappointed. Check their web page out for tickets (https://www.stogiesworldclasscigars.com) and get them while you can.  I know Jorge and Jenny work very hard to put this event on every year and this humble cigar smoking girl from Austin says “Thank you very much!”

By Tara Lee Maloney
Photos by Andrew Ferguson


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