Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Partida Tequila Tasting Dinner at Cha-Cha's Bar & Grill Helotes

Michael and I recently took part in a fun Tequila Dinner at Cha-Cha's Bar & Grill in nearby Helotes, Texas. The featured tequila that evening was Tequila Partida. We learned all about Tequila Partida and enjoyed a tastythree-course meal prepared by Cha-Cha's Chef Bania Ruiz de Arteaga. Each dinner course was prepared and/or infused with Tequila Partida, and each course included paired Partida Tequila shots as well. We had a great time, and we learned a lot in the process! Tequila Partida  is an authentic, ultra-premium tequila made from 100% blue agave. It’s produced in the heart of Mexico's historic Tequila Valley. Partida takes the utmost care in every step of the tequila production process, from agave cultivation and harvest to distillation. Their line features four award-winning varieties of tequila:  
  • Partida Blanco, unaged for pure agave flavor.
  • Partida Reposado, aged 6 months and dubbed "the Bentley of Reposados." 
  • Partida Anejo, aged 18 months and ideal for single malt whiskey lovers.
  • Partida Elegante, aged 40 months, is a top-of-the-line tequila for true connoisseurs.
Our tequila dinner featured the first three tequila varieties above. Our meal began with a Tiger Prawn Shot in Partida Reposado Sauce, served in a shotglass. It was slightly sweet, and the shrimp were plump and juicy. The appetizer was paired with the Partido Blanco; it was unlike any tequila we had ever tasted. It had a smooth, slightly sweet flavor that paired perfectly with the sweetness of the appetizer. The toasted bread served on the side was perfect for soaking up every drop of the flavorful sauce!
As we enjoyed our appetizers, we learned about Tequila Partida's production process from their South Texas Regional Manager Steven Vourvoulias. We learned that Partida ages its agave for 7 to 10 years, which helps ensure its signature touch of sweetness on the palette. Next out from the kitchen was our entree: Sabana de Res. This delicious entree was skirt steak that was pounded thin and cured in Partida Blanca. It was topped with a semi-spicy bean sauce. The skirt steak was fork-tender after soaking in the tequila for 24 hours before being grilled. The bean sauce was earthy and delicious. The entree was paired with the Partida Reposado. Its flavor was more assertive than the Blanco, but it provided a very smooth complement to the beef.
While we ate our entrees, a few cocktails featuring Partida were passed around the table…including an especially delicious strawberry margarita on the rocks. It was refreshing and full of Summery strawberry flavor. Before we knew it, it was time for dessert. Yes, even the dessert that was served incorporated tequila! We both went crazy for the Chocolate Jalapeno Partida Anjejo Ice Cream. It was creamy, with a bit of spice from the jalapeno in the back of the throat. The tequila flavor was very subtle, but you could definitely taste it. The cinnamon-sugar tortilla crisps provided a nice texture contrast. Dessert was paired with the Partida Anejo. This tequila is aged in Jack Daniels American oak barrels for 18 months, making it the most “oaky” of the tequilas we sampled. However, it paired nicely against the richness of the ice cream.

Michael and I enjoyed a wonderful evening sampling all of Chef Bania's tasty, creative dishes and learning about Partida's tequila production process. This was also my first time to taste tequila straight from the bottle, and I was very impressed by how smooth and flavorful the Tequila Partida was. If you're a lover of premium tequila, you should definitely seek out this brand and give it a try! It was tasty all on its own, but it was also a great mixer in the margarita we sampled. I especially enjoyed seeing how Chef Bania incorporated the tequila into her recipes. I plan to use part of my sample bottle to experiment with some recipe creation in my own kitchen too! For my local readers, Cha-Cha's in Helotes is located next to Floore's Country Store...making it a great pre- or post-show dinner destination before your concert. 
Disclosure: Tequila Partida and Cha-Cha's Bar & Grill Helotes hosted us to attend this dinner. All opinions expressed are my own, and all photographs are copyright Michael K. Garcia. They may not be used unless prior permission is obtained.

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