Monday, January 26, 2009

On the eve of the Ox

New Year's Eve dinner at a friend's last night. Many thanks for the great variety of dishes, most notably the sea cucumber.

Given that this is our most important holiday, w
hat would be more appropriate than a Chinese liquor? An eau de vie made from sorghum, the most famous drink that the Chinese make.

Clear, but with a thick texture in the glass. Fr
agrant aroma of sweet mulberries, fermented tofu, and the subtle scent of steamed rice. In the mouth, it's thick, but breaks up with a texture not unlike red bean paste. Long finish of the aforementioned stinky tofu.

Not much in way of intensity and concentration of fl
avour, as you would find in other fine eau de vie, single malt scotch or cognac. This 53% drink of death never makes you forget its potency - a line of fire straight down your throat. This is almost like pure alcohol, with a stinky, bretty nose. Unappealing, to say the least. Burns and burns. I've had Chinese eau de vie that was so rich and oily in the mouth - I don't get why this one breaks up so dramatically on the palate. Completely falls apart.

There was a gentleman, older, sitting across from me. Was b
oasting about his money, his houses, how big his business was in Shanghai. And was telling me that I didn't know what I was talking, that I just didn't understand Chinese liquor. Perhaps. But it'd be much easier for him to be believable if he wasn't wearing clothing he made himself from FabricLand cloth. Just saying. And let's be clear, yes? Associating tasting ability with a propensity for alcohol indulgence is not the sign of a connoisseur. It's a sign of an alcoholic with a palate of a donkey. Don't be an ass.

It was very kind of our host to open the bottle. Not my kind of dr
ink, but certainly no harm in the experience.

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