Tequila la la la! The 411 on everything you need to know
Our Director of Sales, Sel, has a secret talent. She's a tequila sommelier! Since we've all got tequila on the mind this week, we asked her to answer some questions about this delicious spirit.
Read on for the rundown on everything you need to know about tequila, and some of her favorite bargains and splurges.
We can't either... so here are a few things you should know though before your pick up your next bottle.
Q: Give us the 411 on tequila. It’s only tequila when it’s from Mexico, correct?
A: In 1974, Mexico established the Appellation of Origin of Tequila, which then created a Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) that enforces standards for creating Tequila.
Tequila can only be made from 5 states in Mexico. This was set based on where the best blue agave plants can be grown.
Each tequila must contain a NOM 006 (Official Mexican Standard). This requires the standards, legalities, and characteristics that need to be followed in order to produce, bottle, and sell Tequila. You will see each bottle of Tequila include a NOM number on their label.
Each batch made must go through an elaborate process, checking the authenticity of the blue weber agave and the Tequila production process, before it can be signed off by the CRT.
Q: What are the types? Why are they different?
A: There are two categories- 100% Blue Agave Tequila or Tequila. 100% Blue Agave is the purest form of Tequila and has to be produced and bottled in its origin. Tequila can be made with at least 51% blue weber agave. This category usually contains more sugars, and things that give you a headache. So, definitely worth reading a little closer!
There are 3 main classifications of tequila: Blanco (unaged), Reposado (aged 6mo-1year), Anejo (aged 1yr min). There is also an extra Anejo that a few distilleries create that requires aging of 3years minimum.
Q: What do you look for when you are choosing a tequila?
A: Always read the label! Check for 100% Blue Weber Agave for the best quality tequila. Also check the back for a NOM number and a CRT certified mark :)
Q: What is the proper way to drink tequila? That's not in a margarita or with salt ;)
A: Room temperature and without any limes or salt! It’s always great for cocktails, but if you want to get the actual taste of the tequila, try it neat first! And if you are doing a flight, start with Blanco, then Reposado, and lastly Anejo. A nice trick is taking a sip of Sangrita to cleanse your palate in between each.
Q: Do you have any favorite “bargain” brands? What’s the best bang for your buck, if you will?
A: My favorites are Espolon, Exotico, Don Julio, El Mayor
Q: If you are going to splurge, what would you get?
A: For a treat - Clase Azul, Casa Dragones, or some of the extra aged varieties
Q: Any last words for us?
A: Tequila is my favorite liquor as I find it to be the cleanest, especially if you choose the 100% Blue Agave Tequilas. With such an extensive process, every ingredient is Real - leaving you with what we all love — Balance.