Mario Marquez has been involved in the Mexican spirit industry for over 15 years. His passion for tequila began as a server at the award winning Café Coyote in Old Town, San Diego. Challenged with a list of over 100 tequilas on the menu, Mario took it upon himself to seek the knowledge necessary to teach the staff and patrons about the complex world of Mexican spirits. Restaurant owners Lehn and Rich Goetz took a position in making Mario the restaurant’s first, “Tequila Ambassador." Since the beginning of his venture, Mario continues to gather as much hands-on experience as possible. He has taken certification courses with the Mexican Academy of Tequila (Academia Mexicana del Tequila, A.C.), Mexican Academy of Tequila Tasters (Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila) and The Tequila Regulatory Council. Mario is most grateful to be able to travel to many states of Mexico to get hands on education from producers of some of the most prestigious Mexican spirits brands that belong to their respected denomination of origins. Working and learning from agave farmers, Master Distillers and educators of the trade are golden to him.
Throughout the years, Mario has been invited to judge at recognized Mexican spirits tasting panels. Mario served for 5 consecutive years (2006-2011) at the annual Spirits of Mexico Tasting Competition organized by one of the most respected promoters in the Mexican spirits industry, Dori Bryant. He was also judged at the New Mexico International Intimate Tequila Tasting organized by tequila expert and blogger, Mike Morales. For the last 4 years Mario has worked as a “Spirit Specialist” for Pacific Edge Wine and Spirits. Mario has expanded his understanding in the diverse world of wine and spirits and is always striving to be a life-long learner and educator of the trade.