4 things I’ve learned about…Reposado Tequila

Though I’m a little late with this one, the May 2012 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine included my review column on Reposado Tequila!  If you missed the issue on the newsstand, you can still view the digital format (subscribers only).  Here’s what I learned:

1. “I don’t drink reposado.” Can I tell you how many times I’ve heard that sentence? Not just from other cocktail enthusiasts, but also from bartenders and even from a tequila representative at a spirits conference. That last one in particular floored me. I fail to understand why reposado is falling through the cracks in the tequila floor. Sure, blanco is the least expensive, and therefore tends to be the default for Margaritas and other cocktails….but repo makes even better cocktails.

 2. Tequila makers are putting some amazingly beautiful bottles out there. (The stuff inside was pretty good too.)

3. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. The tequila category is HUGE. The 70+ tequilas that I reviewed last year weren’t eligible for re-review just yet. And yet…I STILL received over 30 repo tequila bottlings, almost all new to me.

4. I don’t quite know how to couch this last observation. This category seemed to yield the most…shall we say…homespun entries. Maybe I’ve just become too accustomed to dealing with PR reps and large spirits conglomerates. But it was eye-opening to receive an old-school box – not made out of cardboard and wrapped with packing tape—but fashioned from wood and secured with screws. Another box arrived that clearly had been re-used, as was the envelope inside with the former recipient’s name crossed off and mine scribbled on. There’s nothing wrong with this — but it was humbling reminder that tequila distilleries still include many small, family-run operations. And many of these yield wonderful tequilas. One of my favorites wasDon Roberto, one of the few 100% Mexican- and family-run tequila producers. Their 6-month-old repo seemed to burst with rich butterscotch flavors. ending with a lilt of fresh apples, pears, and light brush of black pepper.

Do you drink reposado? If you do, I’d love to hear about your favorite bottle, or your favorite cocktail made with repo tequila. And if not…I’d love to hear why not.  Since apparently, you’re not alone.

Nine Utterly Gorgeous Tequila Bottles

The bottles of reposado tequila have been rolling in at a furious pace the past few weeks, samples for an upcoming Wine Enthusiast review column. What is it about the tequila category that inspires a product avalanche?

Although I can’t yet speak to what’s inside, I have been awed by the beauty of so many of these bottles. The designs are so gorgeous, I had to snap a few quick photos to share.

Gorgeous Graphics

These bottles are stunning, no? (From left to right:  Luna Nueva, Magave, Jose Cuervo)

Bold Shapes

Each of these had such bold, beautiful contours – squared-off shoulders, elongated pyramid, circular. The photo doesn’t quite capture the impressive tactile  heft of each of these bottles. (From left to right: Gran Dovejo, Oros Azul, Corazon.)

Is that a present, for me?

Around the neck of each of these bottles is a little something:  a guitar pick around the neck of the Corrido bottle, a leather bracelet (“for good karma”) around the neck of the Karma bottle. Why, how thoughtful, darlin’.

Tiki tequila

How awesome is this? A green glass tiki totem inside the bottle with tiki-style lettering and bamboo graphics and a green wax seal over the cap. My immediate cycnical thought was “oh, how clever, now they can put less tequila in the bottle,” but no, there’s still a full 750ml inside.  Know any good tiki drinks that include tequila?