I’m not a follower of network soap operas. Yes, I cut my teeth on As the World Turns and Guiding Light because my mother watched them. This is how most girls are indoctrinated into the world of soap operas but I outgrew those. You get busy with life and eventually just don’t have time for soaps anymore. When I went to college, I still didn’t have time for soaps, but I was taking college level Spanish classes and decided to tune in to Univision one day to tune my ear to the language. (Immersion is the best way to learn a language, just ask any kid who learned English by watching TV.) That’s when I discovered the telenovella! I’ve enjoyed them ever since.
Being a novelist, social media consultant and C.O.O. of Tequila Aficionado, I still shouldn’t have time for telenovellas, but there is one I had to make time for: Destilando Amor. Not only is it helping me refresh my Spanish but it is helping me to understand the part of the tequila industry I haven’t had the luxury of seeing yet.
Before going any further, I should mention that I don’t have cable TV nor do I plan to get it. I’m watching Destilando Amor on Univision through Hulu and my Roku streaming device. If you want to check it out, you can find it there for free.
I’ve only seen a few episodes so far but a few things stand out:
- Montalvo Tequila. The main characters in the show are the Montalvo family. When the show first aired, Montalvo was a fictitious tequila but the savvy Alex Viecco grabbed that name for his tequila and has since had instant name recognition with it. Killer move!
- Angelica Rivera. Angelica Rivera plays Gaviota, the heroine in Destilando Amor. She is also the current First Lady of Mexico. Destilando Amor first aired in 2007. In 2010, she married Enrique Peña Nieto, then Governor of the State of Mexico. Immediately after her marriage, she retired from acting. In 2012, Peña Nieto began his campaign for the presidency, and she accompanied him to political events and functions. She also published a series of videos entitled “What my eyes see, what my heart feels”, where she documented the campaign from her point of view. Not a bad PR move for Enrique Peña Nieto!
- Gaviota. As I mentioned, Gaviota is the name of the heroine played by now First Lady Aneglica Rivera. Did you also know it is the name of a tequila? Apparently Rivera was known for her voluptuous style. Though not “thick” by any standard, Gaviota Tequila has taken this to what I consider a bit of an extreme with their bottle design. As a woman, the last decision I want to make when pouring tequila is whether I should grab the bottle by the breasts or the ass. I’m sure it is popular with the guys though.
- The Novice. James O’Brien is a tequila novice. When we meet him, he lives with Sofia Montalvo in London. James is a wine connoisseur who discovers tequila and falls madly in love with it. What many new to tequila don’t understand is that it has very much in common with wine. Tequila is made from a plant and is affected by terroir just as wine is. Tequila is also aged in barrels which have an effect on the flavor as well. When I last left James O’Brien, Sofia had called it quits with him because he wanted to stay in Mexico and learn about tequila while she wanted to return to London. The last scene of him was at a tahona (the large stone rolled over the baked agave hearts to crush them in preparation for distilling) learning the process. (Not all tequilas use a tahona, but Suerte does. See their tahona in action below.) What I enjoy most about James’ part of the story is it will be educational for me as I’ll be able to learn the tequila distilling process as he does. I hope James will continue to have a large part in the story.
So there are four points that explain what a telenovella might have to do with the Education of a Tequila Drinker. I’m streaming a couple episodes a night so feel free to join me if you like – purely for the sake of our tequila education, of course!
Here’s the first chapter to get you started: