Cigars, Schnitzels & Schnaps – Wagyu, Whisky & Wine

Over the years I have developed a number of good and bad habits. I am by all means not someone who suffers from an addictive personality. I have quite an obsessive personality instead. This can be unhealthy but I have always guided this towards consistency in my behaviours and making sure that when I take on a new passion or habit I fit it in with my overall lifestyle and make sure that I am always learning.

Life is in its most passionate when we are continuing to experience and learn. Its fuel for our personal growth and development. I mention these various things because they are some of the things that I have learnt to love over the years through various life experiences.

I smoked my first cigar when I was 15 years old, it was a puff of a friend’s father’s cigar who thought it would be funny to let us have a go. He joked that it would help make us men and put some hairs on our chests. It immediately hit my belly and I was almost sick. I have never had a love or desire to smoke cigarettes.

When I was about 26 I met one of my personal milestones in life. I won’t go into that milestone otherwise it will take over this article. My business partner and I decided to smoke a cigar to celebrate. We met for dinner with our partners and he brought with him two Cohiba, a classic go-to. What began that night was a passion for cigars, of the interesting world that surrounds them and the type of person that it attracts. I’m not smoking too often but I am finding as I get older I enjoy them more.

Many of these passions of mine represent different experiences or time periods in my life. Schnitzel and Schnaps is actually part of my DNA having been brought up in the Tyrolean mountains in a little ski resort called Kitzbuhel.

Whisky is something that I was fascinated with for years and have learnt so much about it through years of attending talks, courses and being involved in the industry.

Wine is something that caught my attention after visiting Ischia, an island in Italy where I got to do a tour of a family-run winery. It connected the process to the product and in that caught my attention and then from that, I began to learn what I like and develop my passion.

Wagyu is almost an annoying thing to love. There is no going back, what began as trying an exquisite and rare type of beef while in Japan now means that I have no desire to eat steak in a restaurant anymore. Why? Because now I know where to buy the best wagyu and I invested in a quality hibachi grill, meaning I can make the most amazing steaks at home. This discovery has even changed the way I interact socially. Whereas before I would happily go to a steak restaurant now I prefer to have friends over and cook for them and offer them good wine, whisky and cigars.

Alexander Johnson

Alexander Johnson

Alexander Johnson is a leading educator and strategist