Category Archives: Education of a Tequila Drinker

How to Taste Tequila Like a Catador…

…Or, at least, how to act like one

Color, legs and tears, taste tequila

Color, legs and tears.

There are two official schools in Mexico that train people to be certified catadores (tequila tasters).  One is actually a faction of the original school established in 2000 and known as the Academia Mexicana del Tequila (Mexican Tequila Academy).

After a bitter falling out between the founders, another school was initiated in 2006 known as the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Vino y Mezcal.

Below are the official guidelines of tequila tasting as set forth by the Mexican Tequila Academy and translated from their website here.

1.)  Durante todo el proceso de cata, no debe haber communicación entre los catadores.

(During the entire tasting, there should be no communication among the tasters

Covered tequila samples, taste tequila

Covered tequila samples.

[judges]).

2)  Recuerde que un gesto o cualquier otra actitud de aprobación o desaprobación, puede influir en la opinión de los otros participantes. Su opinión, sea cual fuere, debe ser reflejada en la cédula de cata, y si tuviera opiniones o comentarios extra-calificación, es importante que utilice el reverso de la cédula correspondiente a la muestra que está evaluando.

(Keep in mind that any gesture of approval or disapproval can influence the opinion of the other judges.  Whatever your opinion, it should be reflected on the scoring sheet and if you have opinions or extra comments (ratings), it’s important to use the reverse side of the scoring sheet of the sample you are evaluating.)

3.)  Antes y durante el transcurrir de la cata no es conveniente fumar, ya que el tabaco disminuye la capacidad de percepción sensorial y sus apreciaciones podrían estar afectadas y el humo afectará a los otros catadores.

(Before and during the course of the tasting, it is not convenient to smoke since tobacco diminishes one’s sensorial capacities and perceptions.  Your assessments may be affected and the smoke will affect the other tasters [judges].)

4.)  Se recomienda que el día del catado se evite el uso de lociones o perfumes.

Agave, up close, taste tequila

Agave, up close.

(It is recommended that on the day of the tasting that you avoid the use of lotions or perfumes.)

5.)  De preferencia el día de la cata se debe tomar un desayuno ligero, entre las 8:00 y las 9:00 hrs. si la cata se inicia a las 11:00.

(It is preferred that on the day of the tasting that you have a light breakfast at 8 or 9 AM if the tasting is to start at 11AM.)

6.)  Antes de iniciar el catado, ponga en su boca un pequeño sorbo de un destilado neutro (se recomienda vodka simple) páselo por toda la boca y finalmente elimínelo, este ejercicio hará que su boca quede limpia de sabores extraños o anteriores y la preparará para una mejor percepción.

(Before the inception of the tasting, place a small sip of a neutral [grain] spirit (plain vodka is recommended), swish it around in your mouth and spit it out.  This practice cleanses your mouth of strange or previous flavors and prepares

Vodka, soda crackers, water and scoring sheets.

Vodka, soda crackers, water and scoring sheets.

you for a better perception [evaluation]).

7.)  Antes de calificar el sabor de la primera muestra, se recomienda poner en la boca un primer sorbo y moverlo por toda ella, eliminarlo y con un segundo sorbo emitir su calificación sobre el sabor.

(Before scoring the first sample on its flavor, it is recommended to take the first sip and swish it inside your entire mouth and spit it out.  With the second sip, express (record) your score on the flavor.)

8.)  Tómese el tiempo necesario para evaluar cada muestra, no lo haga apresuradamente, y sobre todo concéntrese en la muestra en turno. ¡CONCENTRACIÓN ES EL NOMBRE DEL JUEGO!

(Take the time necessary to evaluate each sample.  Don’t be in a hurry, and above all, concentrate on the current sample.  CONCENTRATION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME!)

9.)  Recuerde que es su percepción y opinión, sobre la muestra en turno, la que vale y no el qué o cómo pudiere parecerle a otra persona.

(Remember that it’s your perception and opinion over the current sample that counts and not how someone else might perceive it.)

10.)  No intente hacer comparaciones; no tiene que conectar la muestra en turno con alguna marca en particular; realice su evaluación como si cada una de las muestras fuera única. Cada una de las muestras tendrá sus propias características, positivas o negativas, sus cualidades, atributos y esos son los que deben contar para usted, de acuerdo con los parámetros de la categoría y clase de la muestra, ya que esto es finalmente lo que se busca.

(Do not attempt to make comparisons.  Do not connect the current sample to a particular brand.  Carry out your evaluations as if each sample were unique.  Each one of the samples will have its own characteristics, positive or negative, its own qualities and attributes, and those are what you should depend (rely) upon in accordance with the parameters of the category and type of the

Scoring tequila samples.

Scoring tequila samples.

sample as that is ultimately what is looked for.)

11.)  Es importante que al pasar de una a otra muestra, elimine el sabor de la anterior con un poco de galleta sin sal y agua.

(It is important that after each sample, you cleanse its flavor [from your palate] with a bit of plain soda cracker and water.)

12.)  Elimine el sorbo de cada muestra evaluada, al final de la cata podrá beber de las muestras que prefiera.

(Eliminate the sip of each sample evaluated.  At the end of the cata (tasting) you’ll be able to drink from the samples you preferred.)

13.)  Es de vital importancia que para evaluar cada categoría y clase de tequila, tome en consideración el parámetro o perfil correspondiente, esas deben ser sus referencias al calificar la categoría y clase.  Al reverso de la ficha, encontrará perfiles generales para la categoría 100% de agave y cada clase.  Al reverso de la cédula encontrará estos perfiles generals.

(It is vitally important that to evaluate each category and type of tequila that you take into consideration the corresponding parameter or profile.  Those should be your references to score the category and type.  On the reverse side of the scoring card you’ll find general descriptions for the category of 100% de agave [tequila] and each type.  On the reverse side of your identification card, you will [also] find these general descriptions.)

14.)  Es indispensable que antes de iniciar el catado, anote en todas sus cédulas su nombre. Y una vez que emita sus calificaciones para cada muestra, realice la suma de puntos total, anotando este resultado en el lugar destinado para ello y que registre esta calificación en su hoja personal de control.

(It is indispensable that before the tasting, you write your names on all of the scoring sheets.  Once you’ve graded each sample, total up the points and write the sum in the space provided and register this evaluation on your personal control sheet.)

15.)  Circule la calificación para cada concepto de evaluación (visual, olfativo, sabor), no palomee, no cruce ni tache los números de la calificación.

(Circle the grade for each component of evaluation (visual, olfaction, flavor).  Do not deliberately “fudge,” cross out or eliminate numbers from the score.)

16.)  Las copas con las muestras, han sido ordenadas de izquierda a derecha en

Covered samples

Covered samples

dos líneas: de la 1 a la 5 y atrás de la 6 a la 10. En esa misma secuencia deberá realizarse la cata, destapando exclusivamente la copa de la muestra que va a evaluar y volviéndola a tapar al pasar a la siguiente.

(The glasses with the samples are in order from left to right in two lines:  from 1 to 5, and in back from 6 to 10.  The tasting should be done in the same sequence, uncovering only the glass of the sample you are evaluating, and then recovering it before moving on to the next one.)

17.)  En general recuerde la capacitación que sobre catado ha recibido. 

(In general, remember the tequila tasting training you have received.)

Considere que su evaluación de cada muestra es en extremo valiosa y que con sus calificaciones estará afectando positiva o negativamente a esa muestra y por tanto a una marca en particular que se expende en el mercado, por lo que se debe realizar con extrema imparcialidad y absoluta honestidad.

(Consider that your evaluation of each sample is extremely valuable.  Your scores will affect, either positively or negatively, that sample and therefore, a particular brand coming onto the retail market.  It should be carried out with extreme impartiality and absolute honesty.)

Gateway Tequilas Explained

What is a Gateway Tequila?

gateway tequila, dulce dorado, tequila“Gateway Tequila” is a term that is often used by Alex Perez and Mike Morales when describing infused, diffused, or otherwise altered tequilas.  In my education as a tequila drinker, I’ve tasted quite a few different tequilas.  Some were sugar-coated and lingered long after a sip while others were warm and dry with a long finish to savor.  I’ve come to the point in my own education where I enjoy the long, warm finish but some women (and men) still need a little something sweet as they learn to sip agave spirits.

 

Everyone Starts Somewhere

gateway tequila, wine, bartles & Jaymes, tequila aficionado, gateway

Alex Perez and Mike Morales explain here why, during Sipping Off The Cuff, they judge some tequilas to be “Gateway Tequilas”.

 

Coming Soon! Sipping Tequila with Author Saranna DeWylde

Sipping with Saranna DeWylde

M.A. “Mike” Morales discusses an upcoming feature in Lisa’s series, The Education of a Tequila Drinker, where we introduce Author Saranna DeWylde to the joys of sipping Tequila.

 

 

Look for this program where Lisa Pietsch and M.A. “Mike” Morales sip and discuss Diva Tequila, Avion Espresso, Acumbaro, and Avion Reserva 44 with Saranna DeWylde coming soon!

 

About Saranna DeWylde

 

saranna dewylde

Saranna De Wylde has always been fascinated by things better left in the dark. She wrote her first story after watching The Exorcist at a slumber party. Since then, she’s published horror, romance and narrative nonfiction. Like all writers, Saranna has held a variety of jobs, from operations supervisor for an airline, to an assistant for a call girl, to a corrections officer. But like Hemingway said, “Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.” So she traded in her cuffs for a full-time keyboard. She loves to hear from her readers.

 

 

fat, saranna dewylde, tequilasweet hell on fire, sara lunsford, sara arden, saranna dewyldesaranna dewylde, desperate housewives  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV rights to her memoir SWEET HELL ON FIRE: A MEMOIR OF THE PRISON I WORKED IN AND THE PRISON I LIVED IN, the true story of the author’s time as a corrections officer in a maximum security prison for men, have been sold to CBS Television Studios with Kennedy/Marshall (LINCOLN, THE BOURNE LEGACY) producing, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency.


 

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The Education of a Tequila Drinker – Ladies Talk

education of a tequila drinker, women in tequila, ladies, women

About The Education of Tequila Drinkers

As with any education, we understand that not everyone gets it completely correct the first time out.  Every tequila aficionado has experienced a learning curve.  If you’re new to tequila, understand that it is a complex spirit and takes time and experience to fully appreciate.  If you’re a long-time aficionado, be patient with those who are new to tequila and answer their questions as best you can so that someday, they too can enjoy tequila as much as you do.

 

The Education of a Tequila Drinker in Canterbury, England

 

the demon gin, blog, humor, england, sinead hannaSinead Hanna, owner of The Demon Gin blog, wrote a great story about her education as a tequila drinker and attending her very first tequila tasting.  Sinead is from Canterbury, England, and has a dry sense of humor with a warm finish that we really enjoyed.  We hope you will too.

Tequila Tasting I Will Go 

An email arrives in my folder. It reads: “You have won a place at our exclusive members’ only tequila tasting event at Club Burrito.”
I stare at the screen for a long time.
I can’t imagine this is a random coincidence, given me penchant for blogging about local things and supporting local businesses.
But seriously…free booze? For ME? This is like asking The Joker to watch your massive pile of weapons and maps to Batman’s house while you nip to the toilet.  Read the rest of her adventure here.

Be sure to check her out online too: Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

 

The Education of a Tequila Drinker in Toronto, Canada

 

agave girl, toronto, natali martinez, tequila, tequila bar, roposado barNatali Martinez of Toronto, Canada, has embarked on her own tequila education and is documenting it in her Agave Girl blog.

In this blog, she tells us about her visit and some of the things she learned at Reposado Bar in Toronto.

Tequila Hotspot: Reposado Bar

Reposado Bar was one of the inspirations for me to start my blog. It’s stylish, cozy, popular and absolutely stacked with a wonderful variation of tequilas.

It’s been proclaimed as one of Toronto’s Favourite Bars, by citizens and critics alike, so you can imagine my pleasure and excitement at the chance to spend some time hanging out at the bar and talk shop with Reposado’s co-owner & tequila connoisseur, Sandy MacFadyen.  Read more here.

Be sure to check her out online too: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Look for our upcoming tequila tasting with tequila virgin turned aficionado, bestselling author Saranna DeWylde, coming soon! 

 


 

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Tequila 101 with Pam Atherton & Mike Morales

pam atherton, mike morales, tequila 101, tequilaA Closer Look with Pam Atherton

It’s one of the most expensive spirits in the world, and probably the most misunderstood. Tequila journalistMike Morales educates us on the history, background and proper way to enjoy tequila.

We learn that tequila comes from a lily, not a cactus…that tequila can only come from a specific area in Mexico, or it can’t be called tequila. We learn that if there’s a worm in it, it’s NOT tequila! And Mike shares his recipe for the perfect margarita!

Click here to hear Pam Atherton’s interview with Tequila Aficionado’s M.A. “Mike” Morales.


 

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