2 weeks ago, when I was working half way, then suddenly my email pop outs, an invitation. Instantly, I click to view it to see what was it about, and to my surprise got invited for a Tequila and Mezcal Tasting at Bentley’s Pub, Hotel Nikko. Many thanks that they had made one part of my wish come true that alcohol tasting is one of my wish as a foodie.
I just like the bar which is very classic, old english style with dim lights and wooden pieces of ceiling. A very comfortable place to be.
This is where the session’s is going to be.
This is the orignal Tequila that flown all the way from Mexico. From front to back (Tequila Tizoc Anejo, Tequila Tizoc Reposado, and Tequila Tizoc Blanco)
and Mezcal all prepared and ready to be tasted by us. (Mezcal of Espadin Maguey, Mezcal of Wild Bicuixe Maguey, Mezcal of wild Tobashiche)
What I get to know that, in Mexico there are around 35 states and only 5 states are able to produce tequila that cannot be produce elsewhere in the world, which makes them so exclusive.
With the sheets of paper for us to learn on each individual flavors how it is different from.
All of the tables were preared with 6 piece of glasses as there are 3 flavors each for Tequila and Mezcal and water is for you to rince our mouth. When we were all seated, then Kevin the Sommelier tell us about himself and also ask us to help ourself at the food area that had been prepared. One little advice from him that, never take alcohol with an empty stomach.
Then we hurried and help ourself with prepared Mexican finger food.
1. Breaded goat cheese ball with wormseed and bean sauce
2. Duck in green pipian with red onion
3. Octopus crousillant with quajillo chile
4. Small plaintain quesadilla, beans
The sauces that need to dip with. Unique in taste which do not get to eat everyday.
Small Caramel flan on sweet croquant, Churritos with caramel, Puff pastry roll filled with mamey custard
My finger food for the night
Kevin Tapia the Sommelier
At Paxia Restaurant which is one of the finest restaurant in Mexico. He had been into restaurant business for more than 19 years start from waiter to manager and he had work in the best restaurant before from Barraca Orraca of the famed Anderson Restaurant Group to the internationally known Izote owned by chef Patricia Quintana, where he was a manager.
Then he started his sommelier studies in 2008 with sommelier Pedro Poncelis at one of the universities. He had also judge the “Ensenada, Tierra del Vino” XV, XVI, XVII editions for 3 consecutive years and the last one was in August 2009. Till now, he had earned a first Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for maintaining one of the best wine list in the country. With the chain he is wearing, represents that he is a Sommelier
With his record, certainly I am going to enjoy myself learning to drink.
Kevin and Me
And let the class begin.
Start off with the first glass, Blanco. Hold your glass and tilt it till 45 degree as shown on the picture below and swirl it around. What we need to do next is to observe the colour and clarity.
After Swirl, we were suppose to smell on the Tequila, trying to get the scent of it.
If the layer of alcohol is clear and flowed down from the wall of the glass quickly, it shows that, take more a few glasses, you can park yourself for the rest of the night (indicates high level of alcohol content)
We was told that temparature is also one play one of the important role in preserving tip top taste of it, that it must always kept in cool temperature in between 14-17C, fridge is not advisable.
After trying all the glasses, I find it, it is pretty similar to wine tasting, but the amazing part is, how is the process they brew on it and the scent and taste been created out. For our very first sip, we were asked to swirl in our mouth to ensure the taste flavor the mouth and swallow it after that. After it travels down the throat, it was very spicy and strong. For girls to drink that, their face will definitely smirk! As told by him, the first taste is usually taste stronger as our tongue is still very mild and to taste on our tongue palate. Second sip, taste much better or the aroma and flavours. Then comes the mischievous Ken, teach us another way how to drink it, that after the sip and you tarik kuat kuat, : results: makes us lagi high, with the strong taste of spiciness shot up to our brain and nose.
‘Tequila Tizoc Reposado’ that been store (4-6 months) age in barrel, taste better compare to the first one, it taste milder and not that spicy that slides down my throat easily. I felt the after taste of mint flavor after it, chilling and cool.
Moving to third range, ‘Tequila Tizoc Anejo’ age at 14-16 months in a barrel had made me fall in lurve with tequila, with the first sip, I taste some earth and woody scent after the sip, but the overall balance is much creamier and smooth. This is one of the popular selection by the women as it is the strongest in alcohol level, taste better and just don play play with the girls in Mexico.
As the first range finishes, we were requested to eat or filled our stomach again and be prepared for round 2. Ting ting ting!
I find that Mezcal range is even more interesting that I have never tried before. The taste of it is surprisingly different and of course with alcohol lovers or those who are stress most of the time, this is the bottle that you might not want to miss with alcohol content of 48%-53%. Give me 3 shots and I will be done for the night, or I will start to talk nonsense with you. 🙂
Start testing with ‘Mezcal, Mezcal of Espadin Maguey’ (aged 9 to 12 years), slightly woody in flavors, not so spicy yet filled with citrus and some spices. Strong in first sip but soft after swallow.
Second glass ‘Mezcal of Wild Tobasiche’ (12 to 15 years) which I think it’s a bit similar to the first one and to end with Mexicano (13-16 years) and ‘Bicuixe Maguey’ (12 to 15 years) that contain the highest alcohol level. 53%! The taste is amazingly good! Not that spicy yet after effect is minty, but strong wood taste and aroma yet smooth and thicker too as I find that Mezcal is spicier and strong in wood aroma. When my first sip of Mezcal also makes me recall back some of my childhood memories, as its taste is very unique that end with wood, dusty, soil, ashes taste and smell. This scent is more obvious that Kevin request us to pour abit on our palm and rub against with both hands till it dry up then inhales. Amazingly, that’s the kind of scent that we are smelling.
As he mention to us how the scent come from was during the aging process that been stored in a area, it actually absorb the scent from the environment that make the drinks taste so natural. Mezcal do not comes cheap too as ONLY 130 bottles were produce each year as it is blend 100% from a plant that needed 30kg to produce one bottle and with the plant of 10 years old. With its limitation in the market, the price could easily rake up USD 160 per bottle.
I guess that, no matter what kind of alcohol, the older it is, it always taste the best!
With the Mexican Embassador.
Trying to pose had to be the embassador~
A tip from Kevin that how do we know it is good tequila or bad, that during your purchase, just shake hard on the bottle, and if the Tequila or Mezcal create a lot of bubble like when you shake a coke, it means that is a great bottle!
Never drink tequila with lemon and salt which is not the proper way, that is what you seen on Hollywood movies and out in the market there are alot are for commercial production which do not use 100% of the plant.
Our gift for the night a double shot tequila glass which I have been wanting to buy for long time. So till next round… Kampaaiiiii~~~~~~