Spirits of Mexico: How Judges Judge & Who Won?

Thanks to Grover Sanschagrin and his amazing Taste Tequila website for sharing this insightful information about how judges makes decisions related to the latest and greatest tequilas available and presented to worldwide competitions. Take a few minutes to watch and learn the how’s and why’s of tequila competitions, and why transparency, equity and thoughtful data analysis are key: (click here http://tastetequila.com/2017/judging-a-spirits-competition-by-its-winners-sure-why-not/)

Cinco De Mayo Celebrations

May 5th was a whirlwind! We had a Terralta activity-filled day. Janna had the wonderful opportunity to appear on KATU Afternoon Live and do a tequila 101 overview with the lovely hostess Tra’Renee. Janna presented three expressions of Siete Leguas for the blanco, Fortaleza for the reposado and Terralta for the anejo. This was a lot of fun and very appreciated by KATU for having Janna on!

The next phase was doing a Terralta happy hour tasting at Watson Hall, in Beaverton. Bartenders made delicious margaritas made with Terralta blanco, and unveiled a new drink called “the cube.” This is frozen pineapple, watermelon, and lime served with tequila. We really got to talk to quite a few people and let them sample Terralta. The Watson Hall guests seemed to really enjoy it!

The pinnacle of Cinco De Mayo culminated in a delicious exclusively designed four-course Terralta pairing meal by Chef Paul DeCarli of DeCarli restaurant.

About 40 people came to experience and get educated about agave. We brought beautiful photos and had the chance to share in depth the Terralta story and about distiller Felipe Camarena’s creation.

The food was incredible! Each course was perfectly paired!

The event was a huge success! Many new Terralta fans, lots of conversations about what makes this spirt so unique and an expressed desire to do this event again. Thank you Jana and Paul for a fantastic opportunity. We really enjoyed it!

 

 

 

Additives In Tequila: Important To Know

Good tequila is all about the process and the authenticity of flavor. There are many distillers that take shortcuts which greatly compromise quality. Education is the key and once again, TasteTequila, one of our favorite resources, does a fantastic job of explaining a complicated topic as it relates to tequila distillation. To learn more about additives, watch this brief video: http://tastetequila.com/2017/the-lowdown-on-tequila-additives/. Also, be sure to follow them at www.tastetequila.com and to download their amazing app Tequila Matchmaker.

Authentic v. Production

Every decision about how to produce the agave impacts the ultimate flavor. Many larger companies utilize “production” to make more at the expense of quality. One of the critical steps involves how the agave is cooked. TasteTequila once again does an excellent job at providing some invaluable education about this process and the results it delivers. Please watch this informative video!

Putting Diffuser-made Tequilas to the Blind Taste Test

Tequila Trivia, Facts & Fascinating

 

  • Blanco – unaged

    Reposado aged 2 months, less than a year in oaks barrels any size

    Anejo one year – 3 years – small oak barrels

    Extra Anejo – More than 3 years – small oak barrels

  • Tequila was first produced in the 15th century near city of Tequila. The Aztecs previously made a fermented beverage from the agave plant, before the Spanish arrived in 1521. When the Spanish conquistadors ran out of their own brandy, they began to distill agave to produce one of North America’s first indigenous distilled spirits.

  • Around 1600 began mass-production at the first factory in Jalisco.

  • By 1608, the Cuervo family received the first license to commercially make tequila.

  • Don Cenobio Sauza, founder of Sauza Tequila was the first to export tequila to the United States, in 1873

  • Tequila is a small town 40 miles west of Guadalajara

  • 1000-2000 plants per acre, 500 million weber blue agave plants annually to harvest tequila

  • Agave matures as it grows, the average is about 12 years for maturation

  • Agave plants weigh up to 175 pounds

  • The pina weighs up to 50 pounds – a single pina produces only about 9 bottles of tequila

  • The plant favors altitudes over 5,000 ft and grows in rich volcanic sandy soils. Blue agave plants grow into large succulents, with spiky fleshy leaves, that can reach over 7 ft in height.

  • Blue agaves grown in the highlands region are in a moist climate producing more juice filled agave plants, larger in size, sweeter in aroma and taste; fruit, pepper, and citrus.

  • Agaves harvested in the lowlands, grow in drier soils with limited water. smaller in size have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavor –characteristics reference mineral, earthy flavor.

  • Agaves are pollinated by long-nose bats. This agave-bat relationship is mutually beneficial. The bats, hover like a hummingbird, use their long muzzles to feed on the high-fructose nectar of the agave. At the same time, the plants’ pollen collects on the bats’ fur. The bats then travel from plant to plant, spreading pollen as they drink from the nectar-filled stalks that bloom each night across the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

  • The Norma Official Mexicana (Official Mexican Standard) is the name and applies to of each of a series of official standards and regulations for the process and activities related to agave supply, production, bottling, marketing and business practices linked to tequila. They are more commonly referred to as NOM or normas. All 100% agave tequilas must have a NOM identifier on the bottle.

  • The number after NOM is the distillery number, assigned by the government. The NOM identifier means the tequila meets government standards.