On September 12, 2011, the Mexican State of Oaxaca and Mexican Trade Commission presented the legendary flavours of mezcal, at an exclusive tasting event at Vancouver’s Stanley Park Pavilion. Guests were privy to sample the best mezcal offered here in Canada, along with the some tasty Oaxacan foods like empanadas, ceviche and paella, and traditional entertainment that even had a few shy ones dancing.
While tequila may have its worms, mezcal takes it a step further with bottles that sometimes may even contain scorpions. (So, yes, very manly.) This tasting taught attendees the true difference between the two spirits. While all tequila is mezcal not all mezcal is tequila. Essentially, tequila is to bubbly wine as mezcal is to champagne: the spirits may contain the same ingredients and go through similar process, but mezcal is made in a very specific region of Mexico, which is Oaxaca, just as champagne comes exclusively from the area of France that is, of course, Champagne.
Expert mezcal master Eric Lorenz of Agave Spirits was brought in to present a seminar with six different mezcals. After sniffing, sipping and sampling, attendees were taught to discern many differences between each glass. Mezcal is made from the plant agava and is then fermented and distilled into a spirit that then may be aged for a number of years. The category of mezcal entitled joven is generally unaged, while that of reposado and anejo both see some time in a bottle or barrel before they are released.
Mezcals to sample, if you can get your hands on them:
Los Siete Misterios Joven Barril
Fidencio Classico Joven
Yuu Baal Repasado
Fidencio is the only mezcal currently available in the Vancouver market – contact Eric Lorenz for details, including pricing and locations.
Image courtesy of Zona Rebelde!.