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Food & Wine Festival
Del San Angel Inn
Sunday October 10, 2010
I have always enjoyed the ritual of tequila shots. You know -- the lime, the salt and the tequila. I usually enjoy this ritual with a group of friends and we all seem to down the shot quickly trying to endure the hot burning liquid as it makes its way to our tummy. As a rule, we all had some sort of pained look on our face and truth be told, we probably never really "tasted" the tequila.
Within the past several years, I have started to learn a little more about this very tasty beverage. This past summer I was visiting Cozumel and attended a tequila tasting. I thought it would be helpful to compare the information from that tasting with this on at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. I found the basics to be right on target with one another -- even down to enjoying some food with the tequila after our lesson.
The tasting is Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 1:00 PM. It is held in the La Cava Del Tequila inside the Mexico Pavilion. I noticed there was no signage to indicate this was the correct location for this tasting. Folks started lining up about 11:45 after a server came out to coordinate the line. At noon, the doors opened, our names were checked off the list and we were able to enter and pick our seat. This bar is small. The space is limited and I would say there were approximately 25 to 30 folks in attendance. Our hostess, Hilda, did have a microphone but at times it was still difficult to hear over the noise from the regular bar patrons.
Each place setting had three pours of tequila. Our first was a Don Julio Blanco; the second a Tres Generaciones Resposado; and the third a Gran Centenario Anejo. We also had a plate that contained lime peels, cinnamon and coffee beans to be used to pick out that aroma with each tequila we tasted. Crackers and water were also available, if needed.
Hilda gave us a brief history and then explained the traditions surrounding the production of tequila. When it came time to taste, we were told how to swirl, smell and sip the tequila. By taking our time with each glass, one learns that each has a very distinct fragrance and taste. We also learned the difference between tequila and mezcal. Mezcal has the worm and is not 100% Blue Agave and therefore not tequila. If you pay very close attention and are the first to answer Hilda's trivia question, you will be rewarded with a margarita of your choice.
After the "learning" portion of our tasting was over, we were treated to two types of tostados (chicken and crab) and a mini shrimp cocktail to enjoy with the rest of our tequila.
At $45.00 per person, I think this is an enjoyable hour. Plus, if you wish to stay after the tasting, you already have a seat and can relax with more food, and enjoy a margarita or continue with additional flights of tequila.