Wine Enthusiast Podcast: A Wine Lover’s Guide to Mezcal

Mezcal Illustration for Wine Enthusiast Podcast
Illustration by Ellen Surrey
Terroir is a term often used among wine lovers to express a sense of place from which a product was cultivated. Soil, site topography, climate and more all impact the natural environment and growing conditions for agricultural products such as vines, but then why is this term near-exclusively used when talking about wine, and not for other beverage categories or types?

Today’s episode might just change your mind.

Spirits Editor Kara Newman speaks with mezcal experts Lou Bank and Salvador “Chava” Peribán about the wonderfully complex and absolutely delicious world of mezcal and agave heritage spirits, including why the concept of terroir is not just for grapes.

No strangers to artisanal mezcal, Bank and Peribán cohost the Agave Road Trip podcast. Bank is the founder and executive director of SACRED (Saving Agave for Culture, Recreation, Education and Development), a U.S.-based 501c3 not-for-profit corporation that helps improve lives in the rural Mexican communities where heirloom agave spirits are made. Peribán develops strategies and processes to achieve sustainable, fair and beautiful products, including agave spirits. He has worked as head distiller at Sombra, where he also helped reduce the distillery’s ecological footprint, and is currently immersed in a yet-to-be-revealed agave project in Mexico City.

There are many layers of consideration when it comes to defining mezcal and heritage agave spirits, but this lively and informative discussion shares production and product insight into why all mezcals don’t all taste alike, as well as which terms and bottles you should be seeking out now.

To learn more about agave spirits, start with this primer on the differences between Tequila and mezcal, then read more about mezcal production here. You can also check out recent reviews for recommendations on bottles to try today, or try this recipe for a Mezcal Margarita.

Published on February 3, 2021
Topics: Podcast