Alex Perez and Mike Morales of Tequila Aficionado.com taste and talk about Cuestion Tequila.
Alex Perez and Mike Morales of Tequila Aficionado.com taste and talk about Jarro Viejo Tequila.
Sipping off the Cuff™ began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program. Sipping off the Cuff is broadcast every Friday (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and TequilaAficionado.com. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner and would like yourproduct(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping off the Cuff, please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com. Click here to see all of our Sipping off the Cuff™ programming.
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Monday Madness was created as a blooper by-product of our production process for the Tequila Aficionado exclusive video program, Sipping off the Cuff. When M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander “Alex” Perez get together, whether in person or via Skype, to review tequilas for Sipping off the Cuff, something silly is bound to happen. Rather than present these clips with their reviews, we chose to respect serious viewers’ time and get right to business with each SOTC episode to keep them at ten minutes or less. The outtakes are often funny and show our silly side, so we chose to share them with you for your amusement, as well as ours, in our Monday Madness video feature. Monday Madness is the evidence of how very much fun we have doing what we love here at Tequila Aficionado Media.
Jose Cuervo’s Tradiciónal silver video during the Subterraneo celebration in Albuquerque, NM exclusively for TequilaAficionado.com.
Jose Cuervo’s Subterraneo celebration in Albuquerque’s Old Town exclusively for TequilaAficionado.com.
Charlie Mashni of Depot Nuevo in Chicago discusses his technique for Patron Killing.
What happens when two tequila lovers happen to get together and taste tequila? Of course they’re going to talk about it! Here’s what happened when M.A. “Mike” Morales and Alexander Perez got together all those many years ago.
Alex and Mike decided to podcast their tastings. When video production became a possibility, they moved Sipping off the Cuff to video. They chose to keep it simple. Share their tasting experience through an honest discussion. Sometimes they offer mixing suggestions for tequilas that may be better for mixing than sipping. Sometimes they disagree on whether a spirit is a good one or not. Whatever the case, they share it with you openly and honestly and never accept pay-for-play.
Alex Perez and Mike Morales announce their new series of tequila discussions – we don’t rate tequila but we will tell you all about every one we taste!
Look for new episodes coming in 2013!
Sipping off the Cuff(tm) began as an audio podcast in 2006 and is Tequila Aficionado’s first and longest running tequila review program. Sipping off the Cuff is broadcast every Friday (and occasionally Tuesdays) on YouTube and Tequila Aficionado. If you are a Tequila, Mezcal or Sotol brand owner or representative and would like your product(s) reviewed on an upcoming episode of Sipping off the Cuff, please contact Mike@TequilaAficionado.com.
In the December 17, 2009 issue of Drinks International online magazine, the headline reads:
WHO plans global duty free liquor ban
The story goes on to say…
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has shocked the duty-free industry by proposing a global ban on duty-free liquor sales, a business which was worth $6.3bn last year.”
The proposal to slow down alcohol consumption was actually published in December of last year, but will finally get onto the WHO’s Executive Board agenda between January 18-23, 2010. The Board is made up of health ministers from 34 leading countries, and if it approves the proposal, it will be presented to the WHO’s full annual General Assembly in May 2010.
Keith Spinks, secretary general of the European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) believes that the proposal will pass the Executive Board and into the General Assembly that is made up of 193 governments, and warns, “If this goes though, it will be a disaster for the industry.”
Should the World Health Organization ratify this proposal, there is an upside. According to Spinks, this proposal on liquor would not be “binding.”
“It is going to be up to each member country to decide whether to implement the proposal or not.” But, he adds, “My fear is that some countries will and some won’t, leaving us in a big mess.”
In 2005, the WHO tried to ban duty-free tobacco sales through its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC was ratified by 165 countries worldwide, but has yet to be implemented by any country.
A quick review of the members of the World Health Organization may give a clue as to why.
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Tourism
All countries which are Members of the United Nations may become members of World Health Organization by accepting its Constitution. So, which countries are members?
Australia, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, UK, and the USA, to name just a few. Most all of these countries have one or more international airports with duty free stores selling among other things, spirits, cigars, and cigarettes.
Not only do most of these member countries tout tourism as a major industry, but many also have their signature spirits (and cigars, in some cases) that define them. Examples are rum from Barbados, limoncello from Italy, and of course, tequila from Mexico.
Where duty free merchants pay inventory/business or other taxes, customers usually pay none. For these countries, tourism, and the profit made at duty free shops from alcohol and tobacco sales, is directly related to each other.
How much damage could the enforcement of this proposal do?
WHO vs. Patrón
As stated above, duty-free liquor sales from last year amounted to $6.3 billion in 2008. That accounted for 17.2% of the total global liquor business according to the Drinks International article.
In the April 2008 issue of Impact Magazine, it states that Patrón tequila was also penetrating the travel retail sector overseas, long a key channel for high-end spirits but one in which tequila was underappreciated. Patrón was aggressively growing its brand by sampling at very visible public relations events in key cities such as London, Athens, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, all whose countries are members of the World Health Organization.
The Patrón Spirits Company, producers of Patrón tequila, claim on their website to be in over 100 countries and islands worldwide. Given that there are only 193 members of the WHO, the chances are good that Patrón is available in the duty free stores of most of these member countries.
Assuming that the same 163 countries that ratified the duty free tobacco ban in 2005 also decided to ratify—and enforce–the duty free alcohol ban, the results could be devastating not just for Patrón, but also for Sauza, Brown-Forman (El Jimador brand), and Jose Cuervo, as well as all spirits suppliers, duty free retailers, and airports.
While it seems likely that the World Health Organization’s Executive Board will ratify the alcohol ban proposal, it seems unlikely that any countries will actually enforce it.
According to figures released by Herradura, the number of cases of tequila exported annually are…
US 11.5 million
México 7.5 million
Of worldwide tequila production, Mexico bottles 33% while the United States bottles 51% as bulk mixto.
However, figures released by the CRT (Consejo Regulador del Tequila) state that from January to October of 2009, there was a 19% drop in tequila production from 2008.
A reporter for Excelsior Online recently commented in his column that despite Mexico’s economic drop of 7% during the recession, as of October 2009, sales of tequila have increased 10% over last year. While this columnist attributes the rise in tequila consumption to consumers trying to make the recession more bearable, others in the tequila industry are more optimistic about the future.
Juan Beckmann Vidal, president of Casa Cuervo, sees enormous worldwide potential in the exportation of the Spirit of Mexico, particularly into Asia. He foresees the annual sales of 137 million liters of tequila to double in the next five years.
With the current instability of each country’s economy, it will be interesting to see what the final production figures are at the end of 2009.