The Sabor Latino Food Show

 

[The second annual Sabor Latino Food Show took place on May 12-13, 2015 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Tequila Aficionado Media was asked to tag along with Embajador tequila as its importer/brand owner attempts to break into the competitive Southern California spirits market.]

Show Prep

emb1It’s no secret that trying to jockey for position into the competitive California spirits market is as tough as winning the Triple Crown in horseracing.  This is doubly true if you’re a fledging tequila brand trying to distinguish yourself from the rest of the field.

That’s where trade shows like Sabor Latino can help.

Opening Ceremonies

Lilly Rocha, founder of Sabor Latino Food Show.

Lilly Rocha, founder of Sabor Latino Food Show.

Created and organized by CEO, Lilly Rocha, a well connected and solidly certified event planner with 17 years of experience and with both national and international clients.

The Sabor Latino Food show recognizes the growing power of the Latino consumer in the US by helping to “Define the Tastes of the New Majority,” which also happened to be this year’s show theme.

After graciously introducing her team, and acknowledging troops of culinary students whom she affords the opportunity for internships with companies that prepare them for college or careers, Lilly cuts the ribbon and unleashes the mariachis.

 

 

Workin’ It

emb2

 

As with most trade shows, an intense 5 or 6 hours is usually spent educating potential customers on the virtues of your product.

Here, Andres Garcia, regional sales manager and family member of Embajador, samples his tequila to approving Spanish speaking attendees.

 

 


In this cut, Andres explains the differences of Embajador reposado and añejo to an employee of the LA Times.

 What’s New

At the Sabor Latino Food Show, Tequila Aficionado got to try new products, old favorites, and get surprising scoops, for instance…

NewOrendain

New from Orendain. What’s NOT on the label?

 

Maricela Martinez of Frank-Lin Distillers showcased her tequilas Puerto Vallarta, Ollitas, and Gran Orendain.

188Pulque

Brand Manager, Daniel Del Razo carries the only canned pulque in the US, Hacienda 1881.

For tequila aficionados interested in exploring the roots of tequila and mezcal, you certainly need to try it.

Guest Stars

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Several importers and brand owners stopped by to tell Tequila Aficionado about their upcoming offerings for Summer 2015.

Ernesto Aguirre of Aguirre Imports discusses his brands and his strategic alliance with Alvaro Molina’s Dos Artes tequila, a 2014 Brand Of Promise(TM) winner.

[Tweet “Sabor Latino Food Show – an all-star show!”]

 


Another 2014 Brand Of Promise(TM) winner in the ready-to-drink category (RTD), Jean-Paul Rojo of JLP Craft Margaritas visited with us and gave us a rundown of its new packaging and project for Costco.

[Tweet “JLP Tequila takes their award winning RTD margaritas to Costco!”]

Not everyone who came by was exhibiting at the Sabor Latino Food Show.  Some, like Miguel De Los Rios and Tatiana Vallejo, owners of Aguila Real tequila, just came to size up the field of newcomers.

Look for Aguila Real, one of the hottest brands to hit the tequila market in a long time, all over SoCal.

Even our founder, Alex Perez, stopped in to say hello.

AlexP

Alexander Perez, Founder of Tequila Aficionado Media

 

What’s New, Day 2

On day two, we met Daniel Villaneda of Global Spirits Imports who sampled a full array of  Pochteca Liqueurs along with an upcoming tequila from Chef Martín San Román whose own restaurant, La Terrasse, is in the heart of Baja California’s burgeoning wine country, the Valle de Guadalupe.

Speaking of the Valle de Guadalupe, Volubilis Imports displayed a series of wines from that emerging region.  Vice President of Sales, Marcus Salvemini, gives us some background on his company.

Hugo D'Acosta, the Mondavi of Baja CA.

Hugo D’Acosta, the Mondavi of Baja CA.

 

 

Marcus explained that vintner, Hugo D’Acosta, is considered the Mexican Robert Mondavi and primarily responsible for the region’s current wine boom.

In this snippet, he imparts the area’s history and the varietals that are carried by Volubilis Imports.

 

 

 

Dessert Pairing with Embajador Tequila

Mama Cheesecake story.

Mama Cheesecake story.

 

One of the more exciting vendors at the Sabor Latino Food Show, was Marian Lopez, owner of Mama Cheesecake in Pasadena, CA.

A one time single mom, Marian began baking her original cheesecake recipes about twenty-five years ago as a way to raise money for her children’s extra-curricular school activities.

Marian explains more about her background and baking methods.


After discovering what her baking methods had in common with some tequila producers, Marian approached the Embajador tequila booth to try all three expressions and to select the ones she wanted to pair with her latest creation, the Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake.

Marian reveals what her inspiration was for her Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake recipe.

SpicyMama

Marian and her business partner, Acacia, pair their Spicy Mama chocolate cheesecake with Embajador Premium Reposado and Supreme Añejo.


These, and many other exciting Latino based food and beverage products premiered at the second annual Sabor Latino Food Show.

Embajador Body Slams Latino Taste Buds!

SL_Takedown

An estimated 900-1000 attendees passed through the doors of the Pasadena Convention Center and several hundred were floored by Embajador tequila’s aromas and flavors.

A few days after the show, Embajador was notified that it had won the Sabor Latino Tequila Take Down competition held among the tequila brands participating in the event, as the crowd favorite.

The Southern California Latino community has taken serious notice of Embajador tequila as a promising brand worthy of their attention.

 

A Brand Of Promise

187TAWith the tortilla chip–and arguably, Mexican wine and spirits–among other Latin influenced foods becoming a staple of the American culinary experience, there’s no reason to believe that Lilly Rocha and the Sabor Latino Food Show won’t become a major player to look up to for all Latino food and beverage products eager to debut in the challenging Southern California market.

Watch for The Sabor Latino Food Show coming to Chicago, June 8-11, 2015.

 

 

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Tequila Aficionado Media Reveals 2014 Brands of Promise™ Winners!

Awards Announced During a LIVE Google Hangout Telecast

For Immediate Release!

hangouts2March, 28, 2015, San Antonio, TX—In an unprecedented live Google Hangout telecast, Tequila Aficionado Media (TequilaAficionado.com) unveiled its Second Annual 2014 Brands Of Promise™ Award winners in Tequila, Mezcal and several other agave related categories.  A full list of Brands Of Promise™ winners can be viewed and downloaded here.

[Tweet “2014 Brands of Promise Winners Announced!”]

tequila awards, tequila aficionado, brands of promiseAmong the stellar labels recognized as Brands Of Promise™ award recipients, Trianon Tequila won the judges’ Best of Show Award, and Briscas Mezcal was recognized with a Gold medal for each of their expressions.  Gold was bestowed onto JLP Golden Lime Margarita in the Ready-To-Drink (RTD) category, as well.

Download the full list of nominees & winners here.

“The quality of the juice in 2014 was just outstanding,” crowed M. A. “Mike” Morales, CEO of Tequila Aficionado Media.

[Tweet “Congratulations to @TrianonTequila for winning Best of Show! #BOP2014”]

wahaka

“What a great year 2014 was!” agreed Alex Perez, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Aficionado.  “So much good juice.  So much good quality.  It is the best time for agave spirit aficionados.”

trianon stack

Best in Show

“Man this was tough,” added Morales, referring to selecting medal winners.

All brands were judged by Perez and Morales, as well as by other Tequila Aficionado staff, on how they performed during Tequila Aficionado’s wildly popular Sipping Off The Cuff™ video series seen regularly on TequilaAficionado.com and viewable on its YouTube channel.

Unlike other spirits contests, The Brands Of Promise™ Awards does not require participating agave spirit brands to pay an entry fee.  It also does not charge winners additional hefty licensing tariffs for the rights to use the medal award graphics on their labels, neck tags, shelf talkers, brochures, point-of-sales materials and websites.

2014-08-11 15.09.09“Competition for shelf space and ‘share-of-mind’ is fierce in this business, especially when going up against more established brands with deep pockets,” admits Perez.  “Most new tequilas, and dozens of mezcals and other agave spirits, are virtually unknown to consumers,” he explains.  “That doesn’t mean that promising startups shouldn’t be recognized.”

“We’re not out to gouge anyone,” declares Morales.  “We understand that advertising budgets for emerging brands are always costly in the beginning.”

[Tweet “The Brands Of Promise™ Awards help brands by leveling the playing field with NO FEES”]

Morales adds, “Simply being nominated for the Brands Of Promise™ awards means that we deem each of these participating brands worthy of the public’s attention.”

***

About Tequila Aficionado Media

6_ta_logo_pinas lg

Since 1999

TequilaAficionado.com, (Tequila Aficionado Media) is the most comprehensive and informative source for tequila, mezcal, and sotol on the internet or in print today.

It has been the only online tequila magazine for the past 15 years and is visited by tequila aficionados in over 120 countries around the world.  It produces fresh audio, video, feature articles and other content, and successfully shares them throughout all of its powerful social networks for maximum exposure.

[Tweet “Tequila Aficionado: Introducing you to great tequila, mezcal & sotol for 15 years”]

About the Brands Of Promise™

If you would like to enter your tequila, mezcal, sotol or other agave spirit or related product in the coveted Brands Of Promise™ awards, click here.

If you would like additional publicity for your product or brand, simply click here for our current rates and special promotions.

Download the full list of nominees & winners here.

[Tweet “Enter the 2015 Brands of Promise now! Cutoff 1 Sep.”]

A Truckload of Agave – Agave Spirits, That Is

Agave Spirits Everywhere!

Agave piñas.

Agave piñas, agave spirits

 

 

If you’ve been following Tequila Aficionado Media closely, you may have noticed a lull in the weekly Sipping Off The Cuff ™  episodes that traditionally have aired every Friday.

As you may know, every tequila, mezcal or sotol label that submits samples for Sipping Off The Cuff ™ is automatically entered into our ground-breaking end-of-year Brands of Promise ™ awards program.

 

We’ve Got Our Work Cut Out for Us 

test pattern, agave spirits, tequilaAfter an unprecedented amount of entries to our Brands of Promise ™  awards, and the flabbergasting influx of new tequila and mezcal brands with fabulous juice in 2014 (and some unforeseen technical difficulties in our post production department that were beyond our control), Sipping Off The Cuff ™ returns with a vengeance.

 

Coming In Hot

agave spirits, tequilaStarting this week, our post production department is backing up the truck and dumping a huge load of agave onto your screens.

Until virtually the end of 2014, brand-spanking new episodes of Sipping Off The Cuff ™ will premier–

Daily!

tequila reviews, agave spiritsLook for your favorite–or start up or little known–tequila or mezcal brands to be deconstructed, dissected and discussed by our Founder, Alex Perez, and CEO Mike Morales.

Plus…

We’re planning some surprise guest hosts to star with Mike on special episodes of Sipping Off The Cuff ™ that will be taped from some of the more popular and trendy tequila bars around the country.

Sipping Off The Cuff ™–On Demand!

 

Fast and Furious, agave spiritsDon’t worry if you miss a chapter or two of these upcoming reviews with Alex and Mike.

They’ll be coming in fast and furious till the end of the year, but you can always catch up by subscribing to our YouTube channel, as well as following TequilaAficionado.com’s Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.

And if you haven’t done so, take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter and be assured of never missing the latest tequila scuttlebutt, event, or feature story.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

 

 

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Sipping off the Cuff: Ekeco Organic Tequila

When we restructured Tequila Aficionado this year, we found some amazing podcasts that had never been heard before. As we all know, life sometimes gets in the way and a few of Mike and Alex’s podcasts slipped through the cracks. NO MORE!

Every Tuesday is Throwback Tuesday until we’ve released all of those great previously recorded podcasts which have now been converted to YouTube videos so you can catch them any time you like! (And don’t forget all of our fresh-from-the-studio reviews will be released on YouTube and shared here every Friday.)

So here it is, fresh from the Tequila Aficionado Vault – Alex Perez and Mike Morales review Ekeco Tequila.

 

Ekeco

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Sipping off the Cuff: Toro Dorado Plata

Mike Morales and Alex Perez of Tequila Aficionado taste and review Tequila Toro Dorado Plata.

 

Toro Dorado Plata

Have you tried Toro Dorado Plata yet?  Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!

 

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