Like many Texans, I am a big fan of tequila. Whether in cocktails or sipped neat, the complexity of this noble spirit embodies the flavors of the Southwest. However, there are a number of factors that have made the production of high-quality tequila problematic in the last couple of decades.
Part of this problem lies in the nature of the agave plant itself. The agave plant takes from six to ten years or more to reach maturity. This means that tequila producers must gauge how much agave they need years in advance. Plant too few agave plants and there is a shortage. However, plant too much and there is a glut of agave on the market. Too much agave, and it can cost more to harvest the plant than can be recouped by making tequila. This is especially problematic for small producers.
Another issue caused by the mass planting of agave is one that is seen in other mass-produced crops: the problem of large-scale monoculture. Since real tequila can by law only be produced from 100% blue agave, entire agave plantations are often planted with clones of the same plant. This leaves them dangerously susceptible to disease and infestation.
Also problematic part of the equation is economic. Traditionally, agave is harvested by highly skilled workers known as jimadors. This is a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Economic factors have caused many of these jimadors to migrate north looking for more profitable endeavors. Their traditions are slowly being lost. This may be the saddest problem of all.
So, what can we a consumers do to combat these issues? This is definitely a thorny question. Above all, insist on pure agave tequila and avoid mixto tequilas that can be produced from other agricultural products. It’s up to all of us to preserve this classic spirit for the generations to come!
Twin Liquors wants to say a huge thank you to our customers who donated over $10,000 which along with Twin Liquors’ matched contributions of $10,000+ resulted in $21,000 donated to the American Red Cross of central Texas, specifically for the May 2015 flood relief. We could not be more proud to be part of an amazing central Texas community. Thank you again!
People say women have better palates… Sandra Spalding of Twin Liquors and Scarlett Greyson of Fox Good Day Austin discuss.
When you visit one of our stores over the next few days, consider adding a donation to the Red Cross of Central Texas as part of your transaction.
100% of all donations will go to the American Red Cross of Central Texas to help our neighbors.
Twin Liquors will match donations up to the sum of $10,000.
2015’s Umlauf Garden Party Wine list features fresh rosé, lovely sparkling and an elegant array of international and domestic white and red.
It’s midmorning on a sunny January day, and I have come to the Twin Liquors Marketplace store on 281 near Bitters [in San Antonio] to meet with the company’s co-owner, Margaret Jabour. No sooner have I approached the sales counter to announce myself than I hear a friendly voice from behind calling my name. We start our visit by looking around the attractively laid-out store. “We like our stores to have a department-store feel, to be female friendly,” she explains as we pass appealingly arranged island displays in the front, a cafe-like tasting bar area, impressive displays of wines from different regions of the world, and finally stop to peek inside the Fine Wine Room…
Her story will make you go WOW!
Margaret Jabour is the owner of Twin Liquors, a company headquartered in Austin, TX. With over 70 retail locations, the family business has quickly grown and adapted to many Austin neighborhoods. Her business practices don’t only involve the day-to-day activities that one would expect – she also manages to cater to the local community on a regular basis. From managing employees, raising two sons as a single mother, and being an active philanthropist….Margaret Jabour is involved in all aspects of her personal and professional life. She is strong in her faith and believes we meet people for a reason and therefore, must not take relationships for granted. Read more…
After the long season of celebrations, the New Year often finds us considering ways to live a healthier lifestyle. And while it may seem counter-intuitive, wine and other alcoholic beverages can be part of a healthy diet. The main thing to remember is moderation.
Much of the debate regarding the health benefits of moderate wine consumption dates back to a study by a French scientist in 1991 that was reported on the TV show 60 Minutes. This study addressed the so called “French Paradox”: the apparent disconnect between French patterns of high saturated fat consumption and low rates of cardiovascular disease. The study concluded that a diet based on southwestern Mediterranean cuisine (high in omega-3 oils, antioxidants and moderate consumption of red wine) created lower rates of cancer, myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease. It must be noted, however, that this study has been hotly debated in subsequent years.
While the “French Paradox” study is still debated, it cannot be denied that many studies over the past few years have touted the benefits of moderate consumption. One chemical compound often cited in these studies is resveratrol. This red-wine compound (also found in grapes, nuts and berries) has been found to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver, reduce blood clots, prevent damage to blood vessels and reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). It should be pointed out that most of this research has been carried out on animals, not people. Want to try red wines high in resveratrol? Studies indicate that tannat, pinot noir, sangiovese and grapes grown in cooler regions tend toward higher concentrations of this compound.
Other studies suggest moderate consumption of any alcohol has health benefits. The Mayo Clinic suggests that alcohol increases “good” cholesterol, decreases “bad” cholesterol, and reduces blood pressure and blood clots. What is moderate consumption? For healthy adults, this means one drink a day for men over 65 and women of all ages or two drinks per day for men under 65. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. While the science is still far from settled, it seems safe to assume that smart consumption of alcohol is not only good for the disposition but for the body as well. Cheers!
No beverage says “Happy Holidays!” like champagne. The sound of the popping cork and foaming liquid, the tiny bubbles streaming from the bottom of a tall fluted glass, and the powerful yet delicate flavors: these are the tell-tale signs that the time to celebrate is here. Whether in the style of a lighter non-vintage bottling or majestic tete-du-cuvee champagne, this is the drink for good times.
The world’s best-selling champagnes are those of the large maisons: Veuve-Clicquot, Mumm, Moet & Chandon and Perrier-Jouet, among others. One of my favorites is Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut. A fresh tasting bubbly consisting of a large percentage of pinot noir, this is full of apple and pear aromas with hints of citrus. I think of Piper as the perfect aperitif or brunch champagne: crisp and lively, begging you to take another sip.
Quickly growing in popularity are the so-called grower champagnes. These wines a produced by wineries that own and cultivate their own vineyards, as opposed to the larger houses who purchase grapes from farmers throughout the region. Amongst these, L. Aubry Fils is one I find to be outstanding. The wine geek in me appreciates the fact that their non-vintage brut contains a large percentage of Pinot Meunier as well as the ancient and nearly forgotten varietals Arbanne, Petit Meslier, and Fromenteau. A very low dosage (sugar solution added to kick-start secondary fermentation in the bottle) means this wine has a steely frame with floral and citrus aromas followed by rich flavors of toast and candied lemon zest. This is truly a wine to savor.
Want to really go for the gusto? Champagne’s top-end cuvees are some of the world’s finest wines. One of the first wines that really stopped me in my tracks is Salon Blancs de Blancs. Made from 100% Chardonnay, Salon is only produced in exceptional years (approximately 4 times a decade.) This champagne is typically aged for 10 years in the bottle before release. A paragon of complexity, Salon exhibits aromas of toasted almond, biscuit, candied ginger, citrus and fresh white flowers. This is a wine that will make you say “Wow!”
This holiday season, enjoy your time spent with family and friends and enjoy plenty of one of the world’s finest beverages—Vive Le Champagne!!!
Spirit tastings are electric events. The buzz builds as eager imbibers dash back and forth between tables with playbook precision before huddling in the corners to fire off quick opinions and coordinate their next approach. Brand ambassadors in the hot seat bring their A-game, handing out half-ounce samples alongside strategic slogans hoping to stand out. Inevitably the rush subsides, we all circle back to one or two producers we each particularly liked, and if we’re lucky, the host samples something special — like the Van Winkle 10 Year generously unearthed from the Twin Liquors cellars for Whiskey Fest. Continue reading
Twin Liquors Whiskey Fest in Austin was a smashing success. With a couple hundred people and 20 different Whiskies in attendance, it was a vibrant and educational event. Don’t miss the San Antonio event on Thursday, June 19th.
Twin Liquors Opens New Store in Mueller Retail Center Continue reading
True Texas Women in Austin
The Hill Country tugs at the sleeves of two of Texas’ most magnificent cities, Austin and San Antonio, and creative people can’t help being inspired by the natural splendor of Central Texas. In this issue, we celebrate three creative and hard-working Austin women whose entrepreneurship and innovative spirit inspire us. With business ties to San Antonio and beyond, these women started small but went on to do big things.
Please tell me a little about Twin Liquors and how long it’s been in business. Twin Liquors is a third-generation, family-owned-and-operated wine and spirits business that started after Prohibition. This year, Twin Liquors celebrates its 77th anniversary. The third generation of owners has expanded the business from a small store in 1982 to a successful company consisting of 75 locations across 13 counties in Central Texas. The company consists of retail sales and wholesale distribution to bars and restaurants. My brother, David Jabour, and I are co-owners.
Twin Liquors has locations in both Austin and San Antonio and in other cities throughout the United States, right? Twin Liquors has a unique and well-respected reputation throughout the United States. It has been nationally recognized for its substantial community involvement, knowledgeable team members, outstanding customer service, conveniently located stores and extensive selections of fine wines and premium spirits from around the world. Continue reading
Combining a job she loves with a passion she can’t ignore.
Women who are driven and successful know how to make choices in life. Every day, they are told to choose between their relationships and their careers, their lifestyles and their careers, their passions and their careers. But what happens when you have a passion for something and your career? For Twin Liquors’ Director of Marketing and Events Coordinator Sandra Spalding, this is a question she has to answer every day. Continue reading
The Austin Lyric Opera Guild pulled out all the stops for their Salute Bacchus Wine Dinner and Auction this past Saturday…and it showed.
The evening hit all the high notes. From the modernist abode in the sky where sponsors were summoned to a chic, pre-reception cocktail party, to the evening’s stellar entertainment, and indeed to the way the ballroom at the Four Seasons Austin had been flipped on its usual head by putting the stage to one end of the room…forcing the tables into a pattern one doesn’t typically see in this space. Not to mention the multiple courses of hand-selected wines that accompanied dinner. Splendid would be an understatement. Continue reading
Margaret Jabour, co-owner of Twin Liquors, has been awarded the Texas Businesswoman of the Year, by the Woman’s Chamber of Commerce Texas. The TBOY award is the most prestigious accolade a Texas business women can receive. Twin Liquors is one of the most prominent liquor store chains in Texas with almost 70 locations throughout Central Texas and wholesale distribution to bars and restaurants, Starting with her generation’s first store in the 1980s, Margaret brought a fresh female touch to the liquor store by giving it a department store feel. She created a women-friendly ambiance with elegant décor, music and tastings. Twin Liquors has twice been recognized nationally as “Wine and Spirits, Retailer of the Year”. Twin Liquors is known for community philanthropy, donating to 500 charities annually. A single mother, Margaret runs the family-owned business with her brother, David Jabour.
Please join Twin Liquors in congratulating Margaret Jabour!! Cheers!!
By Gerry Khermouch
Published in Beverage Dynamics – January 2010
Long known in the Austin, TX, area as an expansive chain of well-appointed beverage alcohol stores, Twin Liquors made a emphatic statement to potential competitors with the November 2008 opening of its Hancock Center Marketplace flagship location, in greater Austin’s Hyde Park district. The 15,000-square-foot, cutting-edge megastore, built in the shell of a former Old Navy outlet, has most everything a customer could want, blending a roomy, comfortable layout – accented by large granite tasting bars in center store and by the entrance as well as classroom-style enclaves in back – with an impressive selection of wine, beer and spirits. Continuing to highlight its chain-wide signature trademark “Twin Deals” promotion, which offers two bottles at a deep discount, along with a wide array of tasting and educational events, the new store drew enthusiastic reviews from customers on ratings sites like Yelp! One online poster noted the store is a “massive celebration of wine, liquor, beer and more…” Continue reading
Theodore Jabour was born on New Year’s Day, 1921, in Austin, Texas. Theodore’s father, Albert, and his family were merchants, and they operated a mercantile store (that was started back in the late 1800s) in the heart of Austin, Texas, which was then Congress Avenue and Pecan Street (the current Sixth Street). As a young boy, Theodore learned how to be a retailer, and he and his twin brother, Arthur, loved working in the family business. Austin was just a small town back then, and on warm summer days, Theodore and Arthur would walk across what is now Lady Bird Lake (when the river would only be a trickle), and they would run and play at East Avenue Park, which later became part of Interstate Highway 35. As a child, Theodore watched his beloved church, St. Elias Orthodox Church, be built in 1933, and he would later attend and serve this church for the rest of his life.
During World War II, he and Arthur joined the U.S. Army and, at all times, were stationed together at the request of their mother, Mary, and the action of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They faithfully served in the Philippines and New Guinea. After the Army, Theodore and Arthur returned to Austin and began working in the family’s store which had since evolved, shortly after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, from a mercantile store into a liquor store, a drug store, and a soda fountain that was known as “Jabour’s Package Store.” In 1953, Theodore and Arthur traveled to Lebanon, the country of their ethnic origin, with their mother. There they both met their brides and within three weeks were married in a double wedding ceremony. The couples returned to Austin to live.
Theodore, along with Arthur, their mother, and their brother, Jesse, worked hard and by the mid-1940s, had expanded “Jabour’s Package Store” from one store into three liquor stores and a tavern that only sold beer and featured the first live music on Sixth Street. For approximately the next four decades, Theodore and Arthur were more than just merchants, providing wisdom, advice, support, encouragement, and attention to all of their customers. Not surprisingly, they had many friends and received countless invitations for graduations and weddings and were truly loved by their customers. In September 1981, Theodore and Arthur decided to retire after being in the liquor industry for approximately 40 years. The family then closed the store and tavern.
When he was not working, Theodore was extremely active in his church and was a pillar of St. Elias Church. Theodore served as greeter for many years and was a life time parish counsel member. His love for his faith and his warmth for people brought many to inquire further about the Orthodox faith. Theodore enjoyed seeing the many people that converted to Orthodoxy and several that subsequently became ordained priests and deacons throughout the country.
Theodore’s love for people soon brought him out of retirement. In February of 1982, his immediate family, consisting of his children, Ralph(deceased), Margaret, and David, and Theodore’s brother-in-law, Gabe Diab, began operating a small 700-square-foot liquor store at the corner of 7th and Red River in downtown Austin. The family named the store “Twin Liquors” in honor of Theodore who was known around town at that time as “Twin.”
Theodore’s business philosophy provided the foundation for Twin Liquors’ existence. Theodore fundamentally instilled in his children the importance of relationships and customer service, and how serving and helping your community is an essential component of fulfilling the needs of customers. This philosophy ultimately fueled Twin Liquors’ great growth. From the inception of Twin Liquors, the Jabours’ vision for the company has been to expand the business in order to serve its communities in every possible neighborhood with personnel that share the owners’ passion and sentiment for the consumer and the industry. Today Twin Liquors consists of 59 locations throughout Central Texas and supports over 500 charitable events annually.
Theodore’s passion and love for his immediate family brought him immense joy, and he preferred to spend his days working together with his family and building a respected business rather than enjoying a leisurely retirement. He was extremely proud of the fact that, today, the Jabour family members are third-generation Austinites, proudly raising the fourth generation of Austinites.
Theodore remained active in Twin Liquors until his death providing passion, wisdom and direction to the company. Even days before his death, the sparkle in his eyes and vigor in his voice when discussing company business confirmed his unwavering and steadfast commitment to his community, industry and family. In an era when businesses rise and fall with relatively brief periods of success, it is reassuring to find that Twin Liquors has stood the test of time because of the beliefs of its founder. That’s the real testimony to honoring a heritage, a family and a father.
May his memory be eternal.
Best Liquor Store: Twin Liquors
Hyde Park dwellers thanked Bacchus early and often when the new millennium welcomed Twin Liquors to Hancock Center – and near a video rental store to boot! With some 55 sister outlets, its upgrade was unexpected, to say the least; employees of Twin Liquors’ new “flagship” headquarters next to Petco estimate the liquor barn’s square footage at 40,000. That’s the kind of mileage you’ll rack up in its Champagne alone. Watch the cork!
Best Tasting Hostess: Antoinette at Twin Liquors
Antoinette could be your mother, your grandmother, your auntie, or your sister, and like all great ladies, she’s known by first name only. The Twin Liquors hostess has been helping customers get the very best out of their liquor for decades. Her commitment to social justice is inspiring: When no one would sell to the gay clubs in Austin in the 1970s, Antoinette and the gang at Twin Liquors did. Arrive at the tasting stand at Twin Liquors, and you’ll be greeted with her radiant smile and a laugh, and she’ll tell you what’s good. She knows good. Everything she’s served to us has been perfect, and the conversation is delightful without fail. After five minutes you’ll wish she was related to you so you’d have more reason (than being a borderline alcoholic) to see her
Courtesy of The Austin Chronicle
It’s a miracle of the marketplace. You decide to have a bottle of your favorite wine store. The wine you want is on the shelf. Winemakers around the world make tens of thousands of wines each year. Who sees to it that all the world’s wines, the one you want is at your store just when you want it? Who exactly makes this miracle happen?
In the notoriously flamboyant liquor business, “modest” and “mild-mannered” aren’t words typically assigned to its top brass. But then again, David Jabour is no ordinary beverage baron. As president of Twin Liquors, this former banker is a genteel family man and tireless philanthropist who just happens to own some liquor stores. Forty-six, to be exact.
Behind the desk of his humble office in a liquor warehouse, Jabour, 43, runs his family’s 70-year-old business and coordinates his extensive community calendar.
Twin Liquors is proud to be Authentically Austin and celebrate 70 Years of service. We want to thank all of you in the community for the kind words and congratulations we have received in response to our anniversary and the Austin American Statesman article “A Family Tradition”, the Spirit of Twin Liquors.
When she’s told that Margaret and David Jabour are getting an award, Juliana deRosa, manager of corporate and foundation gifts for Austin’s Long Center for the Performing Arts, doesn’t miss a beat. “They deserve it,” she says. “We love them here, and we’re lucky to have them in town. I can’t think of enough good things to say about them.”
Twin Liquors has received and continues to receive numerous awards and honors. In September 2004, on behalf of Twin Liquors, David and Margaret Jabour (the President and Vice Market Watch – Leaders 2004 President of Twin Liquors), received the wine and spirits industry’s most prestigious and coveted award, Market Watch’s United States Retailer of the Year. (Market Watch is the sister trade publication to Wine Spectator.) Previously, in 1999, David and Margaret Jabour were named one of the top retailers in the United States by Market Watch magazine. In 2000, Twin Liquors was named the Texas Retailer of the Year by the American Beverage Licensees (ABL). In April 2005, David was named the 2005 Who’s Who in Texas Food & Wine by the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. In July 2005, David and Margaret were inducted into the industry’s prestigious Sky Ranch Hall of Fame (the industry’s chosen charity). Locally, in February 2005, David and Margaret were named the 2005 Honorees for Outstanding Community Service by the Austin Symphony for all of the support and charitable contributions Twin Liquors has given to the Austin community. In addition, Twin Best of AustinLiquors has consistently been named “Austin’s Best Liquor Store” by The Austin Chronicle for over the past five years. Twin Liquors is also a member of the renowned Wine & Spirits Guild of America which is an organization of the largest and most prominent retailers in the United States.