Monday, November 17, 2008

"Il Cugine" is coming!


A few months ago I wrote about meeting actor Joe Gannascoli, aka "Vito" of The Sopranos fame, when we had Gene Arganese at Famous Smoke Shop for an Arganese Cigars in-store event. Even before that, I reported from the IPCPR show in Vegas that I had met Joe in the Arganese Cigars booth, where, at the time he was promoting his upcoming Cugine Cigars selection. (I even got some video of Joe on the Famous Smoke Shop YouTube channel.)

Well, the cigars will soon be arriving at cigar stores across the country, and although I haven't yet had the pleasure of personally sampling a Cugine, I did learn that Gene and Joe will be returning to Famous Smoke Shop in Easton, PA on Saturday, November 29 from 12-5:00 P.M. to kick-off their new collaboration. Moreover, this will be the first time the cigar is available in the North East.

During that last Arganese in-store, I spent well over an hour chatting with Joe about the cast and writers on The Sopranos, his book, A Meal to Die For, movies we like, and some roles he's done since he got wacked in the last season of The Sopranos. Fortunately, Joe is one of those actors who hasn't been affected by his success, and I felt like I was speaking to an old friend. IOW, he's a regular guy.

The Cugine blend consists of Dominican longfillers with a Honduran Sumatra-seed binder, and will available in two wrappers - a mild Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and a full-bodied Maduro wrapper. The sizes so far are a 6 7/8" Torpedo and a 5" x 50 Robusto.

Now, for those of you who don't know what "cugine" means, there are several definitions. The common translation from Italian is "cousin." However, another definition, which may be closer to what people think of when they see Mr. Gannascoli is, "a young ambitious gangster who wants to climb the ranks of power," or "a young tough guy looking to be made." Whether that's what Mr. Gannascoli had in mind when he came up with the name is irrelevant. Let's see how the cigar tastes.

If anyone has already had a Cugine cigar, please feel free to leave a comment.

~ Gary Korb

P.S. You can find more information on Joe Gannascoli at his website, www.joesoup.com.

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