Wine Lovers Can Be Mezcal Lovers Too
If you love wine you must explore Mezcal, one of the most complex and versatile spirits in the world. As a wine educator and sommelier I love wine for so many reasons and have never encountered the sense of place, expressiveness, and homage to tradition as I do with any other spirit than mezcal. I consider Mezcal--Mexico’s national distillate made from agaves cooked in an earthen oven--a gateway spirit for fellow wine lovers that want to venture into spirits.
Wine and Mezcal share many similarities including:
Both are produced from different varieties of their respective base fruit/plant: wine of course from diverse varieties of vitis vinifera grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay; Mezcal from various agaves such as Espadín and Tobalá.
Both are expressive of terroir, or the land, soil, climate in which they are grown: wine from global wine regions located between the 30th and 50th parallels; Mezcal from 9 approved states in Mexico.
Both have regulated designations of origen (DO): the majority of the world’s wine regions are regulated by governmental bodies that also dictate by varying degrees wine production and style; Mezcal also has 9 DO’s that are recognized both domestically and internationally for the production of the spirit.
Both pay homage to traditions: the majority of wine producers whether by law or principle adhere to millennia-year old winemaking processes and standards; Mezcaleros/Mezcaleras must also, by law, follow strict practices in order to preserve the 500 year-old traditions and artisanal qualities of the spirit
Both are versatile: wine has a infinite number of styles allowing for most any palate to be satisfied or any meal to be paired; similarly Mezcal in all its dizzying expressions, complexity, and smoky undertones is by far the most food-friendly of spirits, enjoyed neat as is traditional, or in cocktails.
Let's enter this gateway together!