A Perfect Portmann Weekend

1 Oct


nfc capWe, Frank and I, were surprised to learn that it was not going to be the small, uncomplicated affair we expected, but a “Havana Portmann Group Reunion” dinner at a Michelin rated restaurant in St Gallen / Switzerland.

Oh well, worse things can happen in life …

Like the traffic jam we saw on our way down, stretching basically for three-quarters of the way but fortunately on the opposite direction.

We arrived on time for a glass of champagne and a Robusto at Portmann Cigars in Kreuzlingen, then just a quick pick up of the hotel key, no changing, and off to St Gallen and the highly rated “Segreto” – a one star Michelin restaurant belonging to the Abacus software group.

We had a very comfortable “cave” dining room for our group and left it for the cigar lounge upstairs and a few 30 minute breaks between courses.

Funny enough the ventilation was better in the lounge than in the quite hot cave.

Food was delicious as expected, specially the dessert was glorious, but the climax were the wines, all from the private cellar of our friend Wolfgang and really stunning. See the menu …

We had another Robusto courtesy of Urs Portmann – and only then did he reveal that we had been smoking the 40 Anniversary Robusto from his jar release – a by now 7 year old powerhouse in a size slightly larger than a regular Robusto that left us stunned by the great balance and aromas.

I passed the Cueto custom rolled sticks.

We sat in the cigar lounge for a long while, discussing previous trips and planning the next.

It was long after midnight when we left St Gallen, driving next to Lake Constance in a thick and moist fog.

Sleep was hard to get after such an excellent evening sharing so many experiences and anecdotes that had the brain doing somersaults.

We woke up early and again enjoyed the fog having a few cups of coffee after breakfast outside the hotel while having our morning cigars – as Jos remarked : Nothing like caffeine & nicotine to get going…

Back to Portmann for more coffee and a RASCC while shopping for a few boxes a nice humidor.

Then it was over – it was time to say goodbye to the most generous hosts, the Portmann family and our friends.

We drove through the Swiss countryside filled with all the energy from this short but fantastic visit, stopped for lunch in a picture-postcard village near Basel and reflected on the visit while smoking a cigar.

Then it was basically a smooth Autobahn ride back home to Wörrstadt – with the only excitement of a pair of black monsters passing us, us passing them and them disappearing into the future where they will come back as AMG SLC’s.

A beer in our terrace while talking about the past dinner and then off again with Frank and Jos to Herve’s restaurant, great dinner there, as usual, finished off a bottle of Santiago 12 yr old I had brought along and, leaving a JL Alemania jar behind, we all left for the Irish Pub, some good cigars, beers, crap-shooting and basically a good time.

Sometime early morning we walked home – as Frank remarked, we did the walk twice, stumbling both left and right of the sidewalk …

Oh well, worse things can happen in life …


The last 13 pictures marked “ht” were taken by our friend Horst Thome.



4 Responses to “A Perfect Portmann Weekend”

  1. Dara 01/10/2013 at 18:05 #

    What idiot made you carry a JL jar round with you?

    • Nino Munoz 01/10/2013 at 18:50 #

      Some Irishman named Dara that you get to shave every morning …. 🙂

      Don’t you repeat the misfortune in Belgium or we will have it for breakfast …. !!

  2. Cliff 02/10/2013 at 08:10 #

    Wow, wonderfull pictures of wonderfull times!

    You guys looked like you owned the place haha! ^_^

    • Nino Munoz 02/10/2013 at 10:02 #

      Hi Cliff !!

      Well, what else … ?? 🙂