The Vancouver Tequila Expo folks could not have picked a more tropical day to throw their launch party April 23 on the patio of Joe Fortes. Warm, dry and bright – perfect for tequila tasting – it felt like being in Guadalajara again.
I started with these bottles, anjejo first, then to blanco and reposado. Don’t ask me why. Meanwhile, organizing partner Eric Lorenz of Lorenz Agave Spirits gave me the lowdown on this 2nd annual tequilapolooza.
He said that last year’s event presented 20 brands of tequila to a sold-out crowd of 500. This year they’ll feature 25-30 brands to a maximum-capacity crowd of 1500 at the Vancouver Hyatt Regency on Friday, May 24th.
Lorenz emphasized that this is an 100% agave tequila-only expo so don’t expect tequilas made with anything else, like Cuervo Gold.
“Spreading the word about agave spirits is my agenda,” he said, as he poured me some Azuñia Reposado.
The event will have a heavy emphasis on food and tequila pairing, like the oysters Joe Fortes presented. At least five restaurants will be serving up tequila-friendly fare, including Joe Fortes, Las Margaritas, The Edge, Clough Club, and Mosaic Bar and Grill. I tried an cocktail sauce-topped oyster with a blanco and it was an incredible taste sensation. Eric also suggests a light reposado with oysters.
Making my way to other side of the bar, I found bottles that looked like salt and pepper shakers. These Clase Azuls are imported by a husband and wife team, Karen and Dominic Eggerman of Reservas Tequila.
Originally from Saskatchewan, the couple lived in Mexico where they fell in love with small producers in the tequila-producing state of Jalisco. So they started an import business to bring the best – and prettiest bottled – ones to Canada.
“There are so many amazing tequilas in Mexico,” Karen said. “We went to as many distilleries we could find, these are the ones we thought were suitable for Canada.”
The Vancouver Tequila Expo is the main event to an Agave Week of tastings and seminars at Legacy Liquor Store, and it will include a Cocktail Competition of 12 BC bartenders facing off to win a trip to Jalisco.
It is also a benefit for the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) which supports hospitality workers with serious medical costs.
The Vancouver Tequila Expo will be held at the Vancouver Hyatt Regency on Friday, May 24th, 6-9 pm. Tickets are $60, available here.