• Reading Tequila Labels

[numbered guide]  
  1. The word tequila. Your assurance that it ain't scotch or some wimpy little wine vintage...

  2. NOM Number... this is the distillery's identification number. Sometimes you find this number on the front of the label, sometimes on the back. It's your assurance that the tequila was made in Mexico under Mexican standards.

  3. This tequila is aged. The label might also identify it as silver, gold, or reposado.

  4. The brand. You will find, on occasion, that a distillery will make several different tequilas. Sometimes the tequilas are not different, they just have different labels. Check the NOM numbers to see if it is truly different or just in a different bottle.

  5. Bottle size. In this case it's a litre. It could be 750ml, and you can even get it in "mickey" size.

  6. Distiller's name and location. There are only five regions in Mexico that are allowed to produce tequila.

  7. This tequila is made from 100% agave hearts. If the label says anything else, it ain't agave and the product is most likely a blend. Some poor-quality fake tequilas claim to be 100% agave, so it helps to know your brand names.

  8. The picture... with tequila bottles, it can be anything from a pretty girl to a cactus, from a sunset to a fantasy. All tequila bottles have some image you can meditate on...

  9. Proof... usually twice the percentage of alcohol.