How to Taste Tequila: Cincoro Review

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Learn How to Taste Tequila

In this video, we approach tequila from a wine tasting perspective, from the concept of the terroir, to the 4-step tasting process, which is identical to wine tasting.

Learn the basics of tequila in our guide: Tequila 101.

Taste Michael Jordan’s Tequila

Discover Cincoro Tequila, the luxury tequila brand founded by Michael Jordan and four other NBA team-owners. We cover all four styles of Cincoro Tequila and taste the blanco step by step.

Shameless Storytelling

We also share some embarrassing tales from our college days. What’s your shameful tequila story?

Video Transcript

How to Taste Tequila Cincoro Review

Hola chicos! Saludos de Mexico! Esté alerta.  Stay tuned to learn how to taste tequila like a pro with Micheal Jordan’s new tequila brand, Cincoro.

Hello again and welcome back to DiVino Wine School.

In a twist on the usual, today we’re talking tequila, more specifically, Cincoro Blanco, from Michael Jordan’s new label that came out just in time to be sipped while watching Netflix’ latest sports documentary The Last Dance, featuring  MJ AND Bulls 1997-98 season. 

I’m not what you would call a sports fan, except for soccer and I think we all know what that’s about.

NOW, I’m barely a basketball fan, except that I grew up in the Midwest during the golden years of the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan was a legend.

I am, however, 100% a Tequila fan. And during that 1997-1998 season I drank a lot of it.

When I heard that Jordan and four rival NBA team owners had bonded over tequila one night and decided to start their own brand, I thought that’s a cute story.  I’ll try it!

Check out the DiVino Blog for more details on how Cincoro Tequila was born.  And if you like what you see, hit that subscribe button.

Now, Like many of you, my first encounter with tequila ended in one body shot too many during a house party in college. Thankfully there wasn’t Facebook back then, but we did have cameras and you could get free doubles printed at the Walgreens, and post them on bulletin board at the music school at DePaul University.  Anyway.

I didn’t touch tequila for about 10 years after that. Even the smell of it made me sick. Talk about scent memory. Granted, I’ve love to take my skin back 20 years, but Tequila deserves better memories.

Flash forward to sommelier school and a lesson on how Tequila is actually made   – from sugar-packed hearts of a specific blue agave plant that tastes and smells very different depending on there it grows.  Agave can grow up to 15 years before it is harvested and roasted for tequila.

And just like grapes, the altitude and soil type can produce brighter, green and peppery notes versus earthier floral ones.  Tequila producers blend for balance, just like winemakers who combine grapes from different vineyards for more acidity or more body.

Later in the New York at a very fancy bar downtown, I had the chance to try some reposado and añejo tequilas that were aged in oak barrels and served in little snifters like cognac. They were rich and smooth on the palate and smelled like caramel and spices, dark chocolate and honey.  Amazing!  And nothing like the harsh, regretful tequila of my college days.

I was hooked after that and have been experimenting with Tequila on its own and in cocktails ever since.

I even did a little trip to Cancun last winter to study tequila with the experts at the La Destilería it has a beautiful terrace overlooking the lagoon and a huge selection of Tequilas available to try. There’s a still on site and they give tequila tours downstairs.

You can read more about Tequila on the DiVino Blog.  The link is right down there in the description,  and right up here! (point up).

Cincoro produces 4 different tequilas – Blanco, Reposdao, Añejo, and Extra Añejo –  all  made from 100% weber blue agave, from both the Jalisco Highlands the lowlands surrounding the town of Tequila – which are not really that that low, and contain an inactive volcano and all that mineral-rich soil.

These are celebrity, designer tequilas in a beautiful bottle and a price tag to match. I brought the Blanco, the entry level, and unaged version, which retails for around $74 dollars.

Check out the blog to shop for them online.  This is a great time to use those points and promos for a discount. The Extra Añejo is aged for nearly four years in Kentucky Bourbon barrels and goes for $1,700.

But let’s start with the Blanco.

Tequila Blanco is considered the purest expression of the blue agave plant, as is rarely aged in oak barrels, and never more than two months. This is where you can really smell and taste the differences between high and low altitude tequila, unless it’s blend.

Higher altitude agave produces greener, spicier, cooler, crisper notes, whereas lower-altitude agave comes out earthier, fruitier and floral.

The age of the plant also matters. The part that is used for tequila, the heart, or the core, is called the PINA. As it grows it accumulates a starch that converts into sugar when roasted.  Just like wine, riper sugar-packed grapes produce sumptuous and smoother wines. Same goes for tequila.

The tasting process for tequila is nearly identical to wine.

Blanco is usually served in a traditional or slightly elongated shot glass, whereas reposado and añejo, which have been aged for several years, in oak barrels , need time and space to open up, so a tumbler or a snifter type of glass is best.

Blanco is can be accompanied by a slice of lime and salt – also known as tequila cruda

OR sipped side by side with a shot of Sangrita, a juice made from citrus juice, grenadine, chile powder and sometimes tomato.  You can find sangrita recipes on the DiVino blog.

Both the lime and the sangrita can help balance out harsher flavors of young, unaged tequila. But they also bring out earthy, floral aromas you might never have noticed otherwise.

LOOK

Start with your eyes. Take a look at the color. Blanco is usually clear as it hasn’t been aged in oak. Reposados can take on a slightly golden hue, whereas añeojos are bronze or caramel-colored like whiskey, aged rum, and cognac.

For all of them you can also observe the way it moves in the glass. Does I form tears? Remember if it glides and glistens in the glass, it’s likely to feel that way on your palate.

This Blanco is clear as day but very silky on the glass.

SMELL

Notes of tequila are all over the place, and just like with wine, you only learn to recognize them with time.  Get your nose deep in the glass and take short, strong sniffs.

Blanco is the purest, cleanest expression of agave. It can be green and peppery, or smell a bit like delicate white flowers or even white or pink peppercorn.  This one has a touch of sweet honeysuckle,

In Reposado and Añejo look for more expansive, richer, riper aromas due to micro-oxidation, as well as oak influence, like sweet spices, butterscotch, and chocolate. Some reposado smells like creamy roses.

TASTE

Let the tequila swish over your palate and fill every corner of your mouth. How does it feel, Clean or sharp, or silky and balanced? what do you taste? And how long does it last after you swallow?

This Cincoro is very very silky for a Blanco. It has a reposado quality on the palate, which I don’t mind, but tequila Blanco purists say it’s a little luxurious. But hey! Look at this bottle.

DISCUSS

Before you refill that glass ask yourself and your company what they think. Have you had anything like it before? Does it take you anywhere? Did you surprise you?

So the next time you’re ready to mix up the margaritas, take a second to try tequila on its own. You might be surprised.

Let me know in the comments how your tequila tasting went, and if you dare, share an embarrassing or fabulous tequila story. I know you have one.

And if you enjoyed this video subscribe to see more.

Salud….cheers, and see you next time.

Annie Shapero

Certified sommelier and DiVino founder, Annie believes that the language of wine is more than vocabulary. It is history, culture and most of all, storytelling. She created DiVino as a writer, educator, and wine consultant to bring those stories to life and give people the tools to join the conversation. Watch her free, 21-episode introduction to wine tasting on Youtube, 21 Days to Wine.

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