By Mariana Gonzalez-Marquez
Guadalajara, Mexico, Mar 19 (EFE).- A tasting at El Castillo de Tequila in the town of the same name near Guadalajara offers both a treat for the senses and a chance to learn the history of the iconic Mexican tipple.
Blue agave, vanilla, cinnamon, citrus, wood. The explosion of aromas and flavors in a glass of tequila is as vast as the fields of blue agave in Tequila and the highlands of the western state of Jalisco.
“Each brand has its characteristics – visual, olfactory, and of flavor – and each one of us has distinct capabilities and distinct memories,” tequila connoisseur Grisel Vargas told Efe.
With 14 years in the industry, she is an expert on the production process, the market, and on the intricacies of the Mexican legislation that reserves the name “tequila” for product distilled in Jalisco and specific municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
Vargas was one of the people behind the designation of March 19 as National Tequila Day.
“It’s a passion to be able to taste tequila, to have that essence in your mouth, to be able to transform it and share it. When you tell something that happened to you it’s an experience,” taster Jorge Torres told Efe.
“If I tell you and it resonates with you, for me that is the most important thing,” he said. “To taste means to test, but we make experiential combinations, which is to involve the experiences, the senses, to bring it to a maximum level.”
Torres’ colleague at El Castillo de Tequila, Diana Aldana Barajas, is a native of the region that gives the drink its name and grew up among the plantations of blue agave.
“Each group and each person who comes in to share that moment with you is very special. There are people who live the tasting in a very experiential way with all their feelings and they share their experiences with us,” she told Efe.
Tequila production grew nearly 41 percent last year to 527 million liters, 60 percent of which was exported.
While the United States remains the largest market, Mexican tequila has also won a following in countries such as Germany, Colombia, Spain, and Canada. EFE