December error; Tequila

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 1 23:51:31 UTC 1999

   I once again can´t read a single e-mail.  Oh well.


   Some Mexicans are walking around today with masks of the former president, Carlos Salinas.  In Mexico, the bums are thrown out of office--they leave the country with ill-gotten loot and the peso is devalued.  In 1995, 1.7 million people lost their jobs.
   Yesterday, it was announced that Salinas has written his memoirs.  (In the U.S., criminals have to share the proceeds of these things.)  This is from THE NEWS, 1 November 1999, pg. 4, col. 1:

   One of the main topics to be addressed in the book is the so called "December error," a 1995 decision of the federal government that caused the peso devaluation, considered the decade's worst financial crisis in recent memory.

   ("The decade's worst financial crisis in recent memory?"  What's that mean?--ed.)


   I'll hit "tequila" again, but this excellent article on the tequila boom is from THE NEWS, 28 October 1999, pg. 37, cols. 1-3:

_Tequila: Biting The Worm Tha Feeds You_
   First of all, movie fans will be dismayed to learn that genuine tequila is never, ever bottled with a worm inside.  The spirit that does have a worm is mezcal, a totally different proposition.
   How did Mexico's national drink ever get to be so popular, even without the benefit of a global marketing campaign such as the one Columbia launched for its coffee?  Those with long memories will recall that for many decades, tequila--like Corona or Victoria beer--was strictly for the low-income masses.  Today, it's gone beyond mainstream, and in some countries--Mexico included--is regarded as more upscale than single-mal Scotch or cognac.
   The difference is marketing and generic positioning, as well as Mexico's long and strenuous effort to get tequila certified wordlwide as unique in origin to this country alone, a feat that was finally accomplished last year.  To mark the certification, the World Trad Organization witnessed the smashing of thousands of bottles of fake tequila from Russia, Spain and Japan, among others, on Brussels' main square.  (See my brief discussion on South African wines and "port."--ed.)
   The blue agave tequilana plant, from which genuine tequila is made, only grows in the state of Jalisco.  The town of Tequila, about 80 kilometers from Guadalajara, is to the spirit wha the Champagne region is to bubbles, or what Bordeaux's cabernet sauvignon grapes are to red wine. (...)
   The plant takes three full yars to mature, and after the juice is extracted from the core "pineapple" (thus called because of its shape), the distilling and aging process takes anywhere from two to eight years for the amber-colored "reposados." (...)
   The last I heard, the Cancun Ritz-Carlton hotel's tequila lounge was still the country's leader, with more than 200 tequila brands and daily seminars and tastings.

(I'll be there later in the week for extensive research--ed.)

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