Walking into the beautiful Nat Sherman Townhouse, I knew I was going to have a nice time surrounded by old friends, and new friends I was about to meet. I knew that I was going to smoke quality cigars, and I knew that I was going to imbibe in the best spirits. The reason I knew this was becausethe party was being thrown by four of the most genuine and passionate guys I’ve met – the Bodega Premium Blends boys. Gino, Ronny, Stephane and Rob embody everything I love about friendship, family and fun, and I knew they would stop
at nothing to show their guests a great time.
When I descended the stairs to the private lounge at the Townhouse I was immediately greeted by my good friend G with a big hug. It wasn’t even a minute later when he was ushering me to the beautiful display of Bodega cigars on a table against the wall. Both cigars in the Reunionline were being offered. At G’s suggestion I started with an Aperitivo and a port. As I made my way through the room I was greeted by the rest of the Bodega guys, and was introduced to many people. Some I knew from Twitter, and some I was meeting for the first time.
After thirty minutes or so of conversation and smoking, Gino and Ronny, along with the excellent Nat Sherman staff made their rounds telling the guests of the food in the back room. I obliged, and I’m glad I did. The food was impeccably chosen. There were fried plantains, empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, and one of my all-time favorite Spanish dishes, rellenos de papa, which is a fried ball of mashed potatoes stuffed with spiced beef. It was a
pleasant surprise. I finished my port, and rested my Aperitivo down so I could,for lack of more sophisticated phrase, stuff my face with delicious food. When I finished my plate I immediately reached for my cigar. I re-lit the stick, but something was missing. I needed a drink! I was in the mood for a beer, so I struck up on conversation with the knowledgeable bartender who was very eager to serve me. He recommended the Oktoberfest. I took his recommendation, and it was delicious. I just wish I could remember who brewed it!
After everyone had finished eating, and their Aperitivos were turning into nubs, the house lowered the music, and our attention was directed towards the front of the room where G, Ronny, Stephane and Rob were all standing. Each said a few words thanking the Nat Sherman staff, and all of their friends, old and new, for their support. Their speeches were all very personal and different, but each seemed to revolve around the samething—family.
There was one very special moment for me, and that was during G’s speech. I truly don’t mean to embarrass him, but he got a little choked up when telling us the story of his wife questioning his wanting to start a cigar company. After gathering his thoughts he told her;
“The cigar industry is like no other. You are not divided by race, religion, social status or political views. Cigar smokers share a bond that is second to none. Some of the best times—my wedding, the birth of my kids, landing that big job—have been celebrated with the help of these beautiful man made treasures. Even when things weren’t going my way, smoking a
cigar with a brother or sister always helped me reflect and push through those hard times. “
That was enough for Mrs. G to see that her husband needed to this, “not only for me, but for the rest of the cigar community.”
That right there is the passion that I alluded to in the beginning of this article. Each of the Bodega boys hold that commitment to doing something special for the entire cigar community very near, and very dear to them.
Speeches closed with applause, and a thank you from those in attendance. Next up? Digestivos! When I picked up my cigar I was talking to Ronny, and I asked which liquid refreshment I should pair with the Digestivo. He recommended the El Dorado Rum. I was hesitant because up until then, my experience with rum was limited, and usually mixed with Coke. I can safely say that I’m now a rum fan!
As the last of the ashes fell from our Digestivos the party came to an end, and we had to say goodbye to our friends, new and old. That was until the after party at Cigar Inn, where a small group of us went to enjoy each others company, and of course more Bodega Reunions!
I proudly speak for all in attendance when I say that it was an excellent evening, which exceeded the already high expectations! It was a wonderful night full of friends and family.
Family is everything to the Bodega Boys, and they truly made everyone at the party feel like they were apart of their family. As one of the honorary members of the Bodega family, I invite you all to light up a Reunion, and join us!