So long to all that

One last photo at 5:30am as I head out of the room for my flight home. It kills me to waste perfectly good food, but none of this is on my nutrition program. There are more carbs on this table than in my full day’s allocation.

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Sunday Breather

This has been my first quiet day in six weeks, and my last for at least another four. Ensconced comfortably for the day in the lobby bar of my Shanghai hotel, you  bet I go for a pot of the really good stuff.

It is, after all, the little things.

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.

Will Ferment in China Spill Over into America?

Shaoxing rice wine ferments peacefully in the vast sheds of the storied Longjing winery.

This is the Chateau Lafite-Rothschild of rice wine, in my humble but relatively experienced opinion. The vintage we had at lunch was smooth and perfect, very unlike the knockoff bilge-water poured down my throat years ago in Taiwan.

There is a future in America for huangjiu, provided these wonderful people bring the good stuff to the US and leave the local equivalent of Two-Buck Chuck at home.