A Serious Question Needs Answered!
Anybody with a passing interest in baijiu will be aware of the value of Kweichow Moutai. Considered by many to be the finest baijiu of all (we’re inclined to disagree, but that’s another story), this brand is famously expensive. It’s also highly collectable, often selling for eye-watering sums at auction.
Further Reading: V.I.P Jiu 8 – Vs – Kweichow Moutai
June 2nd saw bidding open on a crate of 24 bottles of Sunflower 1974, another jewel in the Kweichow Moutai crown, at Sotheby’s in London. The lot is estimated to raise up to £45,000. Anything can happen at auction, though, especially as these bottles remain housed in their original crate.
The consumption of baijiu comes with many traditions that must be observed. Chief among these is the vessel that baijiu is consumed from. Rather than a traditional tumbler or wine glass, baijiu is invariably served in a small shot glass that resembles an undersized goblet. This is a far cry from the 14th Century days of the Liangshan Heroes, when baijiu was consumed from oversized bowls.
V.I.P Jiu 8 is Britain’s first authentic Imperial craft baijiu that truly embraces and celebrates the history and traditions of China’s favourite spirit.
V.I.P Jiu 8’s unique recipe was first conceived 300 years ago by one of China’s greatest ever emperors and only now, due to an extraordinary set of circumstances has the original recipe been painstakingly and authentically recreated.
The story begins back in 2014, when V.I.P’s creator Irving Graham bid £300 for a cracked Chinese wine cup at an auction in southern England. He later discovered it was a piece from the Imperial Chinese collection once housed in the Forbidden City during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor between 1654-1722.
Is Kweichow Moutai the worlds biggest baijiu brand living on past glories? Has Kweichow Moutai SOULED OUT? Is Kweichow Moutai now in name only?
Let’s look at a few of Moutai’s past and present glories.
I recently wrote an article titled (Why is Kweichow Moutai so expensive?) within that article is the following passage.
Moutai is marketed as the national spirit of China. This really became the case in 1949, when Chairman Mao rose to prominence. Mao and his comrades toasted the founding of the People’s Republic of China with Moutai. Perhaps that was because it was the tipple of choice of Zhou Enlai, the Chinese premier and Mao’s second-in-command.
Specialist premium Baijiu importer and distributor, Cheng International, is launching a four-part online masterclass in the UK, starting on July 13.
The course, to be held on Zoom, will be aimed at key players in the UK drinks trade. Qiqi Chen, Managing Director of leading exporter Cheng International, said it wanted to offer these events to “encourage people to learn about Baijiu and understand how baijiu it is made”. The world’s largest selling liquor has a deep history in Chinese culture that will also be examined.
Each masterclass will demonstrate how Baijiu can really enhance the range of specialised retailers selling premium spirits. There will also be baijiu food pairing and baijiu cocktail making demonstrations.
For those of you who partied back at home, you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock because that is not the way it works in China.
You might think that playing beer pong and doing whiskey and vodka shots are the ultimate methods of getting wasted. No way!
Further reading: Chinese Drinking Games Top 7 & How To Play
Baijiu looks exactly like vodka and is usually distilled from sorghum, although sometimes grains may be used. Baijiu is produced differently all over China. For example, in southern China, it’s typically made from glutinous rice, but if it’s from northern China it’s made with sorghum, wheat, barley, and millet.
China’s drinking culture isn’t to get drunk ASAP. Usually it involves drinking small amounts of alcohol over a long period of time, so if you’re feeling tipsy, wait for about fifteen minutes and take another drink. Sooner or later you’ll be feeling tipsy again. You’ll be drinking beer or wine if you are lucky; baijiu if you are not (pray that you live to see the next day).