Some things aren’t on your bucket list, but when the invitation comes, you just say yes anyway! Most of us have been to a wine tasting, sipping little samples of vino until we’re lightheaded and laughing, but here’s something different – a Tequila Tasting! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a tequila connoisseur, so I had no idea what to expect when my friend G invited me along. Six of us met at G’s downtown condo at 5:30pm and were greeted with chilled mini margaritas to kick off the evening. What a spectacular host!
Warning: Drinking tequila in a group can result in outrageous laughter, shenanigans and subtle stumbling.
We walked the three blocks to Chef Joseph’s at 115 E. Ohio St. We were greeted by the owner, Joseph and led to an eight top. Community seating is common at Chef Joseph’s tasting events, so you never know who will end up at your table! At each place setting, three snifters of El Mayor Tequila were lined up on the upper edge of the placemat. I could tell right away it was going to be a fun night.
Our group filtered into seats and the wait staff brought out the first course. The daughter of the tequila manufacturer got on a microphone, apologized for her broken English (which wasn’t) and introduced the first pairing, Ahi Tuna and an amazing sweet and spicy Bloody Mary made with tequila. The combination was sheer perfection. Our favorite was the olive in the Bloody Mary which was stuffed with a salty cheese. Umm!
Next we focused on the trio of tequilas we’d been trying hard not to taste too early. The main course plate consisted of Barbeque Duck, Spicy Black Beans, Polenta and Jicama Slaw. With a tasting, you work your way up from the lighter varieties to the stronger flavors so we started with the Blanco, a crisp and clean tequila, very light and easy going, perfect with the Jicama Slaw. Second, we tried the Repasado, richer, lightly smoky flavored tequila which went great with both the black beans and polenta. And finally, the Anejo tequila, aged in a charred wood barrel for at least a year, we drank with the duck. It had a robust woody taste that was smooth and warm. I’m not a tequila expert so my descriptions may lack expertise; but I’m just telling it like it was – tasty!
You would have thought that would have been enough tequila, but we still had one more course, dessert! The wait staff brought plates of dark chocolate flan with a tequila aperitif flavored with orange and anise overtones that complemented the chocolate perfectly.
It was a short walk back to G’s condo where myself and a few others had to hang out a while to let the tequila buzz subside before could drive home. The conversations have faded, but the laughter, smiles and the incredible service we experienced at Chef Joseph’s will remain in my memory forever.