Traditional Mexican Food In the Heart of Old Town San Diego

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Best Mexican Wine In Old Town San Diego

February 18, 2010

Dear patrons,

For the next few weeks I will take you step by step through the art of tequila production. Today I will focus on the prime material, the blue agave.

In Mexico alone there are about 230 different agave species. The only kind of agave that can be used to produce tequila is categorized, Blue Tequilana Weber Agave. Considered among  the best Mexican wine in old town San Diego.

It takes agaves about 6 -10 years to reach full maturity. From the time agaves are planted, farmers help in maintaining them healthy by weeding the land around them, controlling their growth and prevention them from getting plagues. The Goal is to conserve the maximum level of starches in the agave’s core.

Close to maturity, an inflorescence called, quiote begins to grow from the center leaves of the agave. It is rare to see a flowering stalk on a cultivated agave field. If the quiote is not cut, it will shrink the agave heart and the agave will be robbed of its rich starches.

It is up to the Jimador (harvester) to care for the agaves and decide when it is time for harvesting. When it is time, the Jimador sharpens his coa (a round sharp hoe) and cuts all the agaves surrounding pencas (leaves). When uprooted and all the pencas have been cut the only thing that remains after this process is the core or heart of the agave. The heart is said to look like a perfectly round pineapple. The heart is cut in half or fourths to make it easy to carry them to the trucks that will transport them to the distillery.

Folks, this is only the beginning to what one day will become tequila. The above is a synopsis and intended to help you understand this lengthy process. Please join me next week to discover the next step to producing tequila, the cooking process.

Salud!!

Mario Marquez

Tequila Ambassador, Café Coyote and Cantina

Tequila Thursday with Corralejo

February 4, 2010

Dear Coyote Guests,

We are now in the romantic month of February and the weather seems to be more welcoming. There is no place nicer than Old Town to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Café Coyote is always alive. You cannot miss us. We are located on San Diego Avenue, Old Town’s busiest street. Our tortilla artisans and magnet shaped side patio will draw you in from the street.

If you are walking or driving by on a Thursday evening, you will notice people gathering around sampling our featured weekly tequila. This week we left it up to Tequila Corralejo. Corralejo is produced in Jalisco’s neighbor state, Guanajuato. The distillery is built inside a historic hacienda that was the birthplace of Mexico’s founding father, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. Miguel Hidalgo led the war of independence in 1810. We are now in the year 2010. This year is one to celebrate because it commemorates Mexico’s 200 years of freedom from Spain.

Tequila Corralejo is famous for its tall, skinny blue bottle. This is only one of 5 styles in their portfolio.

Corralejo blanco is bottled without any aging directly from the distillery’s copper pot stills. Don Leonardo Rodriguez, founder of Tequila Corralejo refers to the blanco as “the truth” because it magnificently captures the authentic character of the Tequilana Blue Weber Agave.

Corralejo reposado is aged for 4 months in barrels of three different types of wood-French, American and white oak. This unique aging process is what gives this semi- aged tequila its woody aromatic complexity.

Corralejo añejo is aged for 12 months in barrels of new American oak. The barrel is burnt at the inside in order to achieve its Smokey taste. This añejo comes in a red bottle. In Mexico the color red stands for prosperity.

We did not get to try Corralejo’s triple distilled reposado or their two-year, Gran Corralejo añejo. I hope we get to sample them next time around. For those of you who missed out on last months Tequila Fortaleza’s Tequila Thursday experience they will be joining us again on February 11th. We received so many requests for this brand that we decided to bring them back. Show up early because this tequila runs out fast!

Salud!!!

Mario Marquez

Tequila Ambassador, Café Coyote y Cantina

Tequila Thursdays with Cazadores

January 28, 2010

Dear valued customers,

Thank you for your loyal support to our restaurant. In the time of economic crises you have stood by us and we value your repeat business. Twenty years have passed since we first opened our doors and we owe our growth to you.

I have been an employee of Café Coyote for 9 years and am fortunate to have a job that is unique and exciting. I am a Tequila Ambassador (similar to a sommelier). I want to invite you to join us for our spectacular Tequila Thursdays each week from 4:00 to 6:00p.m.   It is an experience like no other. Every week a different tequila brand is featured to give you a chance to learn about their diverse characteristics and production styles.

This Thursday we featured tequila Cazadores. This tequila brand is produced in Arandas, Jalisco. Arandas is famous for its rich red soil and home to many other quality tequila brands. As of today, tequila Cazadores is ranked the fifth highest selling tequila in the world. This is a high mark considering that it competes with over 1000 other tequila brands.

Tequila Cazadores has three presentations: blanco, reposado and añejo. It wasn’t until   about three years ago that this company created their first añejo tequila. Their añejo is aged for over one year in small American oak casks. This 100 percent agave tequila is best when served neat at room temperature.

This tequila goes through what they call the “Mozart effect”. During the fermentation process, music by Mozart is played to help achieve a relaxed and natural process. I have learned that the best tequilas require a natural fermentation. During this process one must wait patiently for the yeast to consume the sugars. This is when the sugars are converted into alcohol. Fermentation is the stage where various aromatic components are formed. Adding relaxed music to the process never hurts.

If you missed this Tequila Thursday we hope to see you on February 4th. We will feature a tequila that dates back to the 1930s, Don Julio. It was at the age of 17 when Don Julio González founded his first distillery. This tequila was one of the first to open up the premium tequila market. Discover what makes this tequila so good. I cannot promise you relaxing Mozart music; but I can guarantee you great tequila, excellent food, fine service and happy Mexican songs.

Salud!

Mario Marquez

Tequila Ambassador, Café Coyote y Cantina