Bonding, Zhejiang Style

Dinner with the folks from Longjing winery. It’s the infamous and dreaded ganbei with full pitchers of the local pour.

Yes, my face is red.  I am told I managed to quaff about a liter of huangjiu between dinner and the unofficial meetings afterwards. The next morning I was about as hung over as I have been in decades, but it was not as bad as it would have been if I had been drinking different or lower-quality spirits.

It is a bummer that really good huangjiu is hard to find in the US. It is very easy to develop a taste for the stuff, and at about 15% ABV it fills a niche between wine or strong IPA beers on one end and spirits on the other. This is much more like a richer version of sake than grain-based paint-thinners like Maotai or Wuliangye, and is a superb substitute for brandy or port.

If you get a chance, give it a try. It will surprise you.

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