Thursday, November 29, 2007

Here come the Chinese

I like tequila. I'm a little snobby about it. So, of course this caught my eye - 'Chinese' tequila worries Mexico.

The title is a bit more sensational than the actual issue. It appears that parts of China have a similar climate to certain areas of Mexico. Thus, the plants indigenous to Mexico are able to flourish as they would in their natural habitat. The plants in question are maguey and to a lesser extent nopal. While maguey is a form of agave, it is not the blue agave in which true tequila is made from. In fact, it is used to make mezcal, which is a product similar to tequila. In addition to being from another plant, mezcal generally comes from a region other than Tequila - Oaxaca. Mezcal is also of the "tequila worm" fame.

So I guess what it boils down to is that the Chinese are wanting to produce maguey to make mezcal, which the general public (and the media, it appears) generally doesn't differentiate from tequila. Because tequila has grown in popularity the last 10-15 years, China can make some bank in the tequila market.

What Mexico wants is denomination of origin so that tequila (and I guess mezcal) can only go by such a name if it comes from Mexico. This Chinese stuff would have to have another name. You know, like Syrah is from France and Shiraz is from Australia.

See also:
The Grande Enchilada
The Incontiguous Brick

[h/t: Beegs]

ALTL's tequila advice to you: Quit drinking Cuervo Gold, 1800, and Sauza. The 2006 Tequila Trade Agreement allows for tequilas such as these to be bottled outside of the country. They are only required to be 51% blue agave, while the real stuff is, well, 100%. Read the fine print at the Cuervo website: Imported and/or bottled in the United States by Heublein, Norwalk, CT. Get yourself to Dos Jefes or Yo Mama's and order yourself a Herradura Reposado. Neat. No training wheels. Sip it. Give tequila a real chance.


Leigh C. said...

Years ago, I observed a small group of folks dressed as the Krewe of Chinese Crawfish on Mardi Gras Day, all of 'em headed for the Quarter.

I see a new potential costume for this coming Mardi Gras...

Anonymous said...

[url=]cialis without prescription[/url] - cheap cialis online , buy cialis