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Best Mole Phoenix 2002 - Mezcal

Mezcal's mole is, in a word, magnificent. It's hard to choose among the distinctive varieties -- mole rojo, mole amarillo, or mole verde -- each served over chicken and paired with fresh vegetables plus sweet potato purée, Swiss chard, rice or chochoyotes (masa dumplings).

So we do the smartest thing and get them all in the appetizer tamale combo: three moist, chicken-stuffed masa bundles steamed in banana leaves and each topped with a different mole. Rather than chocolate-heavy, Mezcal's blends are celebrations of dozens of herbs and chiles. Mole rojo is complex and sweet, mole amarillo is light and aromatic, and mole verde exudes fragrant notes of tomatillo. They're all distinct, like fine, cocoa-hued wines.

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