Hail Cheesers!

[From September 11 to October 2, 2016, Tequila Aficionado Media, sponsored by 34 expressions representing 21 brands, embarked on a monumental RV road show dubbed, The Heartland Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and epic–highlights.]

Cheese and Agave Spirits?

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xaWhen Lisa Pietsch, CMO of Tequila Aficionado, first pitched the idea of an Agave Spirits Tour through America’s Heartland, I had my doubts.

Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, several points in between, then, back home to Texas.

“Why don’t we call it the Control State Tour?” I asked, facetiously. “Or, ‘Escape from the Bourbon Belt?'”

After she punched me in the arm, she declared, “I want to do cheese pairings with agave spirits and Wisconsin cheeses.”

I rolled my eyes, but then she explained that the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s official website had listed ideal cheese pairings with wine, dark spirits and beer.

Tequila, mezcal and agave spirits were nowhere to be found!

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

Cheeses of Mexico

“Imagine what pairings we could suggest to our readers with our sponsor’s agave spirits,” she urged.

It occurred to me that Mexico is a prolific cheese producing country and that many of their regional cheeses are made within the same states as some mezcals.

Surely, I thought, there are bars and restaurants in Mexico that serve some of the very best cheeses recognized worldwide with prize winning mezcals and tequilas?

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

“Why not?” I said to Lisa. “Let’s do it.”

What follows is our enlightening and palate pleasing visit to Cheesers in the charming and picturesque hamlet of Stoughton, WI with proprietress, Peg Schuett.

Filling A Need

Lisa Pietsch explains to Peg Schuett, owner of Cheesers, what compelled us to seek her store out during our Heartland Tour.

Craft Cheeses Made by Masters

Peg Schuett, owner of Cheesers, describes her method of selecting the craft cheeses she carries.

She also explains the stringent regulations that it takes to become a Master Cheese Maker in the state of Wisconsin.

Award Winning Cheese

Peg goes on to list the award winning cheeses she proudly provides in her main display case.

Cheese From Family Farms

Peg continues to walk us through her prize winning cheeses produced at family farms.

Cheese Pairing

Lisa and I sample several of Peg’s suggestions while we try to decide which sponsored agave spirits brands would pair nicely with them.

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

Together, we determine that Soltado, Route 66, and Santo Diablo Mezcal would pair deliciously with this group of cheeses.

Hail Cheesers! http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xa

It’s Hard Work

Peg assures us that cheese making is hard work. Lisa admonishes me for not nosing my cheese properly like I do with agave spirits.

Serving Suggestions

Peg instructs us as to what optimal temperature cheeses should be served.

Just as each expression of agave spirits should be served at room temperature, serving sliced cheese follows the same rules.

Try cheese pairing with your agave spirits, and give Cheesers a call.  They ship everywhere!

2016-09-19-11-40-28

Tequila PR Platinum Package – One Stop Awesome for 2017


Tequila PR & Marketing
, specializing in agave spirits marketing, has put a great deal of thought and study into creating high value packages that will promote agave spirits brands to Tequila Aficionado’s worldwide following.  Several packages were created, but the Platinum Plan is One Stop Awesome!

The Platinum Plan is literally a year’s worth of content that Tequila PR will create for you and then work with you (or your agency) to strategically schedule throughout the year to provide the perfect complement to your marketing efforts.

Tequila PR Platinum Package – One Stop Awesome for 2017 http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4I2

 

The Platinum Plan Includes:

  • 800 Word Brand Story or 60-minute video interview with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  • 1 Food/Recipe Pairing Article featuring your spirit brand
  • tequilaaficionado-free-ebook1 Profile Article or Written Interview
  • 4 300-Word Product Features with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  • 1 Pinboard on Tequila Aficionado’s Pinterest network, and shared with you so it will appear on your Pinterest network, with at least 20 Search Engine Optimized (SEO’d) and Social Media Optimized (SMO’d) pins
  • 2 Newsletter inclusions to over 800 subscribers
  • 2 Newsletter banner ads to over 800 subscribers
  • Social exposure (x7) across our Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Google+ social networks
  • 72-Hour Site Takeover featuring your brand in our background
  • 10% Of fee invested into social media advertising to a targeted audience for enhanced exposure
  • Inclusion of 3 expressions of your brand on the next Tequila Aficionado tour (additional expressions negotiable at a nominal fee)

Additional content created for you during the tour:

  • 3 Facebook Native Videos
  • 3 Instagram Videos
  • 1 Blog Feature
  • Inclusion in the Tequila Aficionado Wiki
  • 3 YouTube Videos

Tequila PR Platinum Package – One Stop Awesome for 2017 http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4I2

Get ready to take your brand to the next level in 2017!

For more information on the Tequila PR & Marketing Platinum Package or other influencer marketing packages available to accommodate any budget, please visit the Tequila PR website.

Platinum Packages are limited so reserve yours now to hit the ground running in 2017!

Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping Superstars

Who will be the next sipping superstar?

Cast your vote and tell your friends!

who-will-be-the-nextIn October, we did an open call for tequila aficionados who were willing to work for tequila by becoming official tasters for Tequila Aficionado’s Sipping Off the Cuff and other upcoming programs. We spread the word far and wide and several bold souls took us up on the offer to audition with a tasting of the agave spirit of their choosing.

These are their auditions.

Now it is up to you, our faithful viewers to help us choose the new members of the Tequila Aficionado team by telling us which sippers you enjoy watching.

Share their audition videos on your social networks and campaign for them!

To vote: Click on their YouTube video and be sure to give them a thumb up if you liked them.

thumbs-up-and-down

We’ll be following the votes for each through the end of 2016 and offering the best ones the opportunity to work for tequila in 2017.  Please share each video with your friends and be sure to give them a thumbs up on YouTube!

Dave Dinius

Rebekah Sager

Matt Metras

Felipe Herida

Jim Johnston

Eric Zandona

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience

[From September 11 to October 2, 2016, Tequila Aficionado Media, sponsored by 34 expressions representing 21 brands, embarked on a monumental RV road show dubbed, The Heartland Tour.  In these next passages, we recount the historic–and epic–highlights.]

Minnesota Loves Agave Spirits, Part Deux

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

As we mentioned in the article, Los Osuna’s Dream Maker, Minnesota has the unique distinction of being the only state to have two blue agave spirits from outside Tequila’s and Mezcal’s Denominations of Origin based within its borders.

An oddity, for sure, but perfectly understandable when you discover the ardent foodie and cocktail culture that also exists within the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

For instance…

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

One of the highlights of Tequila Aficionado’s Heartland Tour was an exclusive tasting of Revel Avila Blue Agave Spirit at the fashionable and trendy 6 Smith Restaurant.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

It’s a bold, fresh and modern artisan inspired restaurant situated on the shores of Lake Minnetonka (Yes, THAT Lake Minnetonka!) in the city of Wayzeta.

6 Smith

A private room was reserved for the event with a lovely view of 6 Smith’s outdoor patio which overlooked the lake’s marina.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

On this gorgeous late summer afternoon, we would be hosting many friends of the brand, as well as various VIPs.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

Arranged by Revel’s COO Jacqui Thompson, we were joined by her brother Justin Thompson, Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager, Larry Fioretti, Director of Finance James O’Neill, and several members of Team Revel Spirits.

First Impressions

First impressions were important since this event would also celebrate the The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xeunveiling of Revel Avila Spirits’ handsome new look.

Champagne flutes were carefully filled with modest pours of Revel’s triple distilled blanco, American oak aged reposado, and French oak rested añejo.

Because of its distinctive aroma and flavor, each glass was topped with a Revel Spirits coaster to prevent its diverse aromas from mingling.

This would perhaps be the very first time any of the attendees had tasted agave spirits of any kind, let alone a unique hybrid like Revel Avila.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

To the rear of the room, a delicious spread of finger foods and appetizers was laid out by the 6 Smith staff which included duck confit won-tons, heirloom tomato crostini, and stuffed portobello mushrooms.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

Each delightful side dish was designed to complement Revel’s awe inspiring expressions.

After photos, live check ins on social media and online videos, we were ready to begin.

Armed with a wireless mic and powerful speakers, Jacqui introduced yours truly, and we were off on a Revel Avila Spirits tasting adventure.

Experiencing Revel Spirits

We began with Revel Avila triple distilled blanco, the root of the entire line.

Every attendee was individually served a flute of the exquisite blanco while still covered.  Once each glass was handed over, the Revel coaster was removed to reveal its heady fragrance.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xeMade from blue agave, it is grown and harvested by Revel Spirits’ partner, agave grower Hector Ruiz and family.

His agave groves sit at the foot of Popocatépetl volcano outside of the Denominations of Origin of both Tequila and Mezcal in the state of Morelos, Mexico.

Due to the mineral rich land having only been farmed between 10 to 20 years, the region’s terroir is extremely prominent in Revel’s aroma and flavor.

Revel Avila is a blend of pit roasted and autoclave steam cooked piñas, then triple distilled in large column stills.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

The attendees understood that what they were sniffing, swirling and sipping was a unique experience because currently, no other agave spirits from Morelos are on the market.

Revel Avila Reposado

Next, we discovered the nuances of the 12 month old Revel Avila reposado.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

The women in the crowd picked out hints of toasted almond, butter, and spices while the men were enamored by the oak and caramel notes added by the once used American oak bourbon whisky barrels.

Revel Avila Añejo

Lastly, the two year añejo was introduced to a rousing reception.

The men in the group who had been enchanted by the reposado were wowed by the addition of the extra layers of complexity courtesy of the virgin French oak.

The women were keen on the añejo’s boldness and notes of anise and sweet chocolate.

As a final coups de grace, and, in an attempt at full disclosure, I revealed that The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xeunlike the previous renditions of Revel Avila that they had sampled at 80 proof, the French oak añejo was bottled at 48% ABV, or 96 proof.

Surprised and awed, the entire room nodded in approval.

While many tequilas are sometimes rested in barrels to mask the identity of their unaged blancos, Revel’s character remained intact.

In fact, the wood only served to enhance the intricacies found throughout all of its expressions.

Desperately Seeking Signal

After some parting words from Jacqui thanking those in attendance, we lingered for an hour answering more of the crowd’s questions, in-depth.

The Revel Avila Spirits Experience http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4xe

Then, it was off on another 3 hour drive to Wisconsin, desperately seeking wifi signal.

2016 Brands of Promise Nominee Playlist

ta-2016-bop-nominee-rgbSee all the reviews of the 2016 Brands of Promise Nominees in all categories!

 

Sipping Off the Cuff | JLP Craft Pomegranate Margaritas

Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch taste and discuss JLP Craft Pomegranate Margaritas, ready-to-drink margaritas from JLP Tequila.

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

jlp

Sipping Off the Cuff | JLP Craft Strawberry Margaritas

Mike Morales and Lisa Pietsch taste and discuss JLP Craft Strawberry Margaritas, ready-to-drink margaritas from JLP Tequila.

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

jlp

 

2016 Brands of Promise Nominee List

2016 Brands of Promise Nominees

Blanco Nominees

  • Tequila Aficionado 2016 Brands of Promise Nominees http://tequilaaficionado.com/2016-brands-of-promise/Alicantes (only; very artisanal)
  • Tequila 21
  • AquaRiva
  • Santera
  • Pepe Zevada
  • Tres 888
  • Siempre
  • Nocaut Reserva
  • DesMaDre
  • Giggling Marlin
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Hacienda Mercado

Legacy Blanco Nominees

  • ArteNOM 1580 (only)
  • ArteNOM 1579 (only)

Legacy High Proof Nominee

  • Herradura Colección de la Casa (Directo del Alambique Blanco; 110 proof, 55%ABV)

Reposado Nominees

  • Tequila 21 [NOM 1414]
  • AquaRiva
  • Santera
  • Pepe Zevada
  • Tres 888
  • Nocaut Reserva
  • DesMaDre
  • Giggling Marlin
  • Muchoté [NOM 1414]
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Hacienda Mercado

Reposado Reserva (Blend) Nominee

  • Don Lorenzo Reposado Reserva (1st batch, NOM 1445)

Legacy Reposado Nominees

  • ArteNOM 1414 (only)
  • Muchoté [NOM 1414]

Añejo Nominees

  • Montejima (only)
  • Pepe Zevada
  • Tres 888
  • Tragos Amargos
  • DesMaDre
  • Tequila 512 (only)
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Hacienda Mercado

Extra Añejo Nominee

  • Pepe Zevada Gran Reserva

Organic Tequila Nominee

  • El Consuelo (blanco only)

Value Tequila Nominees

  • Muchoté (reposado)
  • Tequila 512 (añejo)

Infused Tequila Nominee

  • Soltado añejo (infused with serrano peppers and cinnamon; 40% ABV, 80 proof)

Tequila Liqueur Nominee

  • Peligroso Cinnamon (42% Alex; 35% Mike)

 Ready-To-Drink Cocktails

  • JLP Craft Margaritas, Pomegranate Margarita
  • JLP Craft Margarita, Strawberry Margarita

Tequila Packaging Nominees

  • Tequila 21
  • Alicantes
  • Cosa Salvaje
  • Tres 888
  • Tragos Amargos
  • Siempre
  • Nocaut Reserva
  • DesMaDre
  • Giggling Marlin
  • Tequila 512
  • Frida Kahlo

Mezcal Joven Nominees

  • Santo Diablo (Espadin; 90 proof, 45% ABV)
  • Legendario Domingo (Espadin; 96 proof, 48% ABV)

Mezcal Legacy Nominee

  • Scorpion Mezcal Variety Pack (barril, blue agave, espadín, tobala; 40% ABV, 80 proof; joven)

Legacy Gateway Mezcal XA Nominee

  • Scorpion 5 year XA (French oak; 40% ABV, 80 proof)

Mezcal Packaging Nominees

  • Legendario Domingo
  • Santo Diablo
  • Estancia (Raicilla)
  • Los Osuna (Blue Agave Spirit)
  • Por Siempre (sotol)

Blue Agave Spirit Nominee

  • Los Osuna (blanco, reposado, añejo; 80 proof, 40% ABV)

Agave Wine Nominee

  • Nectar Blends

Sotol Nominee

  • Sotol Por Siempre (unaged, 45% ABV; 90 proof)

Raicilla Nominee

  • Estancia (unaged, 40% ABV; 80 proof)

 

 

Sipping off the Cuff | Frida Kahlo Anejo

Mike & Alex taste and discuss Frida Kahlo Tequila Anejo.

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

About Frida Kahlo Tequila 

Sipping off the Cuff | Frida Kahlo Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4F8Frida Kahlo Tequila Blanco is naturally fermented up to four days. The agave juices are then double distilled in antique copper stills and bottled un-aged. The result is smooth super-premium tequila that mixes perfectly with your favorite drink.Frida Kahlo Tequila is all-natural. No artificial ingredients are added to accelerate the fermentation process. Hand selected at the peak of maturity, the agave is slowed cooked inside an antique adobe brick oven; then steamed and cooled to remove any bitterness; and finally the agave is pressed to extract only the finest juices for am extra super-premium Tequila.

Sipping off the Cuff | Frida Kahlo Reposado

Mike & Alex taste and discuss Frida Kahlo Tequila Reposado.

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

Sipping off the Cuff | Frida Kahlo Reposado http://wp.me/p3u1xi-4F7About Frida Kahlo Tequila 

Frida Kahlo Tequila Blanco is naturally fermented up to four days. The agave juices are then double distilled in antique copper stills and bottled un-aged. The result is smooth super-premium tequila that mixes perfectly with your favorite drink.Frida Kahlo Tequila is all-natural. No artificial ingredients are added to accelerate the fermentation process. Hand selected at the peak of maturity, the agave is slowed cooked inside an antique adobe brick oven; then steamed and cooled to remove any bitterness; and finally the agave is pressed to extract only the finest juices for am extra super-premium Tequila.