The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2016

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76  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2016 A s a resident of Italy in the 1980s, when Joseph Cimino turned 17 years old, he had two options, either enter the military for two years or move abroad and go to college. From a background of modest means and the son of a cattle rancher, the latter choice was a large gamble, but even so, he traveled to Miami to attend school. While there, he began his 27-year career in the food and bever- age industry, starting as a dishwasher. Since that time, he has held every job you can have in the industry, he claims. As his kids grew up, the urge to stay at home for holidays and weekend grew, which became increasingly difficult in an industry that rarely takes a holiday. He began freelancing, and on a trip to Jalisco, Mexico in 2013, he met a distiller that opened his eyes to a world of tequila he had never known before. "I always loved tequila," notes Cimino. "But on that trip, I realized how little I actually knew about the spirit. It was beautiful to see the passion it took to raise one agave plant for at least seven years to make their product." This trip became the lightbulb that Cimino sought—he decided to not only ride the wave of sipping tequilas, but ride the crest of that wave, producing the best of the category. And after three years of hard work, his brand, 6 Degree—named for the theory that states we are all separated from one another by just six steps or less—has Joseph Cimino with his brand 6 Degree Tequila, which took home major hardware from the 2016 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention & Expo. PHOTO: JOSEPH DIBLASI Joseph Cimino's wife, Lauren, brings watermelon and 6 Degree Reposado cocktail to guests at a tasting held at their Warwick, NY, home.

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