How To Choose Better Tequila
In our endeavour to shed light on the little-known world of sipping tequila we have so far covered:
Hecho en Mexico
Translated to “Made in Mexico” it is the most obvious sign to look for that you are in fact buying tequila. If this is missing, run the other way.
We have written about where tequila is made which includes an interactive map of the NOMs
Tequila, much like Champaign and Port, has Denomination of Origin status. This means genuine production is geographically bound to certified areas as stipulated by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT). The CRT also have other strict guidelines that must be followed to classify the agave distillate as tequila. So naturally, if it is not made in Mexico it has not been subjected to these standards and something is terribly wrong.
Look for the NOM number that is printed on every bottle. There are 2 important reasons why:
- The Norma Oficial Mexicanan (NOM), is the name of each of a series of offical, compulsory standards and regulations for every type of activity in Mexico. These standards are prepared by the Dirección General de Normas (DGN) (General Directorate of Standards).
When it comes to tequila, the CRT regulates production NOM's. The NOM ID means the tequila meets government standards. Without the NOM stamp, it is not guaranteed that the contents of the bottle contain legitimate tequila.
- Just because a tequila bottle has a NOM stamped on it, it does not guarantee it is a good tequila. You can however find out a lot about the characteristics of a tequila and distillery by searching the NOM. This invariably will help you in your research and selection.
The third thing you should look for on the label is that it states the tequila is 100% agave. There are 2 official categories of tequila:
- Tequila: Usually referred to as mixto and should be avoided at all costs – Read why here
- 100% agave tequila: The basis of the good stuff – no added sugars or other additives
There are only 4 ways a tequila can be labelled as 100% agave.
This product must be denominated through some of the following legends only: “100% de agave”, “100% puro de agave”, “100% agave”, “100% puro agave”. - www.crt.org.mx
Just to be clear here if the bottles states “Made with agave” this would classify as a mixto.
Finally, reviews reviews reviews. As the popularity of tequila increases dramatically there are more and more quality reviews available online. These reviews are conducted by real tequila aficionados and are a great place to get quality information on a bottle. Here are just a few:
- Australian Tequila & Mezcal Lovers
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would just like to chat
That’s it for now