Tequila: a natural and cultural history (book)
Ana G. Valenzuela-Zapata and Gary Paul Nabham, Tequila: A Natural and Cultural History (University of Arizona Press, 2004).
Mexico's tequila industry worries about supply of blue agave plants
According to the USA Today, 26 August 2008, Mexico's tequila industries worries about the supply of agave. The explosion in worldwide corn prices and the prices of other food crops tempts farmers to switch from their traditional crops. In Mexico, slow-growing agave sells for about two cents per pound while corn sells for eighteen cents.
Lucinda Hutson, Tequila!: Cooking with the Spirit of Mexico (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1995). For a recent article on tequila's history and tequila today (which quotes Hutson and miscites her book's subtitle), see here.
Vietnam, the world's second largest coffee exporter, prefers tea
In recent years Vietnam has become the world's second largest coffee exporter, but it consumes only about 5% of its coffee harvest. Vietnamese, including coffee growers, prefer tea. For more, see here.
Mexico's tequila industry (735 brands produced by 118 companies) is concerned about competition from imitators, most of them disapproved tequila coming from Mexican garages and small workshops and a few located in South Africa. (Tequila is supposed by be at least 51% from the agave plant.) The tequila industry, heavily dependent on the USA market (about 75% of Mexican tequila exports go north of the border), has grown rapidly. Formerly a peasant drink, extensive advertising by the Jose Cuervo brand made it acceptable to middle class Americans. Production has grown from 16.7 million gallons in 1995 to 32.1 million gallons in 2005. Mexico asserts a geographic claim to the name tequila as does the Champagne district of France to that bubbly drink. For more, see the USA Today, 17 October 2007.
Corn for ethanol displacing agave for tequila in Mexico
The demand for ethanol as a replacement for petroleum has made the price of corn skyrocket. As a result, Mexican farmers are burning their fields of agave (the plant from which tequila is made) to make room for corn. For more, see here.
Drinkers switch to premium tipples
Demand for "premium" vodkas, whisky, rum and tequila is likely to outpace average growth in the US drinks industry for several more years as drinkers switch from beer and lower-priced spirits, an industry body said yesterday.
The Financial Times reports.
Newsweek reports (15 August 2005) that Mexico's tequila industry is now on track to produce a record 210 million liters this year. Sales hit a new high in tequila's top export market, the United States, when tipplers consumed 8.5 million cases in 2004. Big distillers like Jose Cuervo and Tequila Sauza are benefiting from a glut of blue agave, the spiky plant with a sweet heart, from which the sugary juice for tequila is squeezed. But the good fortune of tequila makers is bad news for their main suppliers. Read more here.
Greek authorities find spate of fake booze
The New York Times reports (27 July 2005) from Athens that drinkers in the Greek capital who suspected their tequila sunrise was too bright or thought their rum tasted strange might be right after all. Find the full story here.
In Tequila's Home, a Wine Region Comes of Age
The New York Times reports (1 May 2005) that once the butt of jokes, Mexican wine is rapidly gaining a reputation for subtlety and complexity, and the scenic Guadalupe Valley is turning into an intimate and unusual wine destination. Find the full story here.