Labelling for Mezcal and Tequila
The information on Mezcal or Tequila labels must comply with the legal requirements in the country of production, Mexico, as well as in the recipient country. However, many producers display additional information. Particularly in the case of Mezcal, a high level of transparency has become established among small producers through manufacturing and product details. In principle, the more information, the more trustworthy the producer and product.
An overview of all formal classifications can be found under TYPES & QUALITIES.
As an example for Mezcal the label of DON MATEO DE LA SIERRA:
1. product and category1,2 / 2. brand name1 / 3. product name (here: agave species)1 / 4. alcohol content1,2 / 5. filling quantity1,2 / 6. region of origin1 / 7. mezcal class1 / 8. note “protected origin”1 / 9. note 100% agave1 including botanical name° / 10. picture of the processed agave° / 11. NOM number1 / 12. internet presence° / 13. barcode° / 14. production details° / 15. importer address2 / 16. manufacturer address1 / 17. bottle & content details: place of production°, date of production°, lot number (batch)1,2, total production quantity°, bottle number°
1mandatory indication in Mexico
2mandatory information in Germany
This label is completed by the hologram of the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal (CRM) with a QR code, if the CRM was responsible for the certification of this product. However, there are now other certifiers.
Exemplary for Tequila the label of SIEMBRA VALLES:
1. product and category1,2 / 2. brand name1 / 3. product name (= tequila class / storage period)1 / 4. alcohol content1,2 / 5. filling quantity1,2 / 6. NOM number1 / 7. region° / 8. barrel aging information° / 9. bottle & contents details: agave growing location + registration numbers at CRT°; harvest year, harvest manager, type of cut°; oven type and duration of cooking°; grinding°; fermentation tanks, yeasts, duration°; master distiller, distilling apparatus°; duration of storage°; barrel data° / 10. internet presence° / 11. producer address1 / 12. importer address2 / 13. lot number1,2 / 14. Barcode°
1mandatory information in Mexico
2mandatory information in Germany
Drinking & Tasting
Like any good distillate, Mezcal and Tequila are enjoyed at room temperature. And since the traditional drinking strength here is 45% to over 50% alcohol, it is advisable to choose the right glass. This should have a wide rim and the liquid in it should have a large surface area to react with the air.
We recommend liqueur bowls or coupettes, or in a pinch a wine glass or a nosing glass. Less suitable are grappa or shot glasses. Although the caballito –a tall shot glass– is the classic Tequila glass in Mexico, this has more to do with casual drinking and this fact does not make it more suitable.
Under ACCESSORIES we have some drinking vessels that we think are suitable in shop.
Recently, shallow bowls made of ceramics have become established, but in this case you cannot see the distillate and its behavior (viscous, watery, etc) in the glass. Traditionally, Mezcal is also drunk from JÍCARAS, bowls made from the fruit of the calabash tree, which are also often used in the distillery. In the gastronomy in Mexico, the VELADORA (also: vaso cruz) has established itself, a small glass with about 5cl capacity, which is actually for candles of the Eternal Lights in the church and therefore often has a cross on the bottom.
Agave spirits are very complex, but this requires some time in the air. That is, let the liquid breathe - similar to wine. The taste changes perceptibly, becoming deeper and more complex. Especially with freshly opened bottles, off-notes or strong alcohol odors may dominate at first, but then disappear. If the bottle is already open and contains a good portion of air, this effect is no longer so pronounced.
Unlike Tequila, barrel aging for Reposado or Añejo is not very common for mezcal. Often these products also have a somewhat lower drinking strength of 40% or 42% alcohol. Although agave spirits are traditionally drunk unaged, i.e. as Joven or Blanco, or Plata, it is of course purely a matter of taste whether the wood notes of the barrel appeal to you. However, there is the traditional storage in glass, which is actually a quality feature and especially with high-proof spirits for a softer aroma provide. Also traditional is the storage in clay vessels, which are often also buried. Since the clay is porous, an exchange with the material or the surrounding earth takes place here and the brandy takes on mineral notes.
Of course, products with infusions, i.e. pickled plants or a "mezcal worm" are also a matter of taste. For when it comes to the pure expression of the agave species and its processing, the best choice is an unaged, unflavored product. And that's without fruit or spices to accompany it. This is not to say that there are no meaningful food pairings with agave spirits, quite the opposite!