Born to be a Tequila Sommelier

Oscar Torres of Villa del Palmar Resort in Loreto, Baja

By Tim Cotroneo

Oscar Torres not only grew up on tequila, he grew up in Tequila. Torres is the Tequila Sommelier at the Villa del Palmar Resort in Loreto, Mexico. This award-winning resort is the only luxury destination in the world that can say their tequila expert was born in Tequila, Mexico.

Torres wears many hats at this 4400-acre resort located between the uber-calm  waters of Danzante Bay and the magnificent Sierra de la Giganta mountain range. When he’s not serving as the Villa del Palmar’s Food and Beverage Director, Torres manages the  resort’s three restaurants while teaching the finer points on the 38 tequilas guests can try.

Torres was asked how a novice could learn to best appreciate tequila? Whether you’re a tequila newbie or a tequila connoisseur, you’d be wise to follow the advice of  someone with “Tequila” on his birth certificate.

Getting Started with Tequila

Torres recommends that resort guests who are new to tequila have their introductory samples poured into a wine glass, rather than a shot glass. A wine glass makes it easier to go through the steps for discovering which tequila you prefer best.

This formula begins by swirling tequila in your glass, blowing on the tequila to remove gasses in the spirit, slowly inhaling the tequila’s aroma, and then swishing the drink in your mouth before swallowing. Torres refers to this final step as “moving the tequila around on your palette.”

As a final exclamation point to the tequila enjoyment process, Torres suggests exhaling through your nose. Torres likes to maximize his senses when sipping tequila.

Most Popular Tequila – Don Julio Reposado

Don Julio Reposado is the most requested tequila at the Villa del Palmar. This tequila’s roots hail from Jalisco in the Gaudalajara region of Mexico, the same area surrounding Torre’s beloved hometown of Tequila.

In Spanish, “reposado” means rested or restful. Reposado tequila is aged in white barrels for eight months. This mellow tequila exudes a lemon citrus aroma, and its taste description ranges from chocolate to vanilla to cinnamon.

Most Expensive Tequila- Don Julio Real

At the Villa del Palmar, the most expensive tequila is sheltered on the top shelf in a turquoise case. Don Julio Real is extra-aged or triple-distilled. Don Real’s fan club will tell you this tequila is also extra-smooth.

Torres’ heightened palate tastes cinnamon and chamomile when sipping Don Julio Real. At the Villa del Palmar you’ll pay around $45 dollars per shot for this golden-hued tequila.

At the Head of the Class at the Villa del Palmar

Torres enjoys sharing his love for tequila with others. Torres ignites this passion every Friday afternoon at the Villa del Palmar. Fridays are when Torres meets poolside with resort guests eager to participate in his one-hour “Tequila Tasting Course.”

For students who’ve never sampled or compared tequila as a drink of choice, Torres’ Baja stage offers a phenomenal setting for learning the history, and the flavors, of his hometown’s main export.

Imagine sipping tequila at a five-star resort with a sweeping view of the Sea of Cortez and the Southern Baja’s most magnificent mountain range. Torres’ scenic teaching environment delivers a learning setting that is second to none. And if vacationers have any doubt that they’re in the best of hands, remember your teacher not only grew up on tequila, he grew up in Tequila.


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