Originally Posted on Tequila Aficionado March 2, 2001
A look into The Tequila Lover’s Guide to Mexico and Mezcal
By Alexander Pérez
TequilaAficionado Magazine Editor
After selling out of his first book by 8 thousand copies, Lance Cutler has indulged us again with his newly expanded second edition of The Tequila Lover’s Guide to Mexico and Mezcal. This is a must-have addition for all tequila and mezcal aficionado libraries.
This second edition, due out on September 16, 2000 Mexican Independence Day, contains reviews of over 150 tequilas including detailed tasting notes sure to turn anyone into a true connoisseur. The author also has featured his personal updated hotel and restaurant reviews for Guadalajara and surrounding areas.
Probably the most important and exciting new addition to Cutler’s book is it’s extensive section on mezcal. This is the most comprehensive English write-up on mezcal available to date. Not only is the author honest in his review of the mezcal industry, but also detailed in his description of 25 mezcals from 14 different palenques (distilleries). He has also provided us with an informative dining and lodging guide for anyone venturing into mezcal country, Oaxaca. Reading Cutler’s restaurant reviews are sure to make your mouth water, as they did mine.
Due to The Tequila Lover’s Guide’s extensive content, it is now being used as the industries “bible.” Many companies have already purchased copies for their own library as well as an educational tool for their reps.
Like his first book, reading it was like listening to a good friend tell you about his exciting trip and wishing you had gone with him. Let Cutler guide you through tequila and mezcal country — don’t leave on your trip without his new book.
Visiting with Lance Cutler
Lance Cutler is a true lover of tequila and mezcal. In a conversation with him, he mentioned his passion for the whole tequila and mezcal process. One of his main inspirations for writing this second edition was his travel to Oaxaca. When he saw what the people were up against as they produced mezcal and how this was their livelihood he had to write about it. “I was in Oaxaca when agave was being sent illegally up north to Jalisco for tequila” says Cutler, “the shortage terrifies me,” commenting on the agave shortage in the tequila producing regions. “They work so hard to get to where they are doing pretty well, the product starts to take off and then they run out of product. That really saddens me, I hope not too many lose their businesses”.
Recently Cutler has been involved in helping a few small Oaxacan companies market their product since the industry has had a classically long history of promoting it the wrong way. Interestingly he says, some of the big tequila companies like Jose Cuervo and Sauza are getting into the mezcal market and are starting to produce their own mezcals. Demand for mezcal is slowly growing and is becoming increasingly popular.
Coming from the wine industry Cutler knows what makes a winery successful and the same needs to be applied to the tequila and mezcal industries. For example, people flock year-round to visit the wine country and they have hundreds of wineries to choose from, whereas when you visit the tequila and mezcal regions you only have a few distilleries open to the public. This stems from the fact that most tequila and mezcal companies do not like to work together, everyone is for himself, and many will not even get together on a business level. The day they learn from the wine industry and start working together as a community and start opening to the public they will have a lot more business and much more exposure. Now that is a good problem to have.
The Tequila Lover’s Guide to Mexico and Mezcal can be purchased through Amazon.com or by contacting Lance Cutler directly at Wine Patrol Press (707) 996-5730. Save when ordering though Tequila Aficionado Magazine. More details coming soon..