David Volodzko is editor of the site Rational Consent and has written for many other publications, including this piece about baijiu for The Diplomat. I asked him a few questions about his experience with baijiu.
When did you first try baijiu?
The need to visit China rose to the top of my glass, as it were, while I was living in South Korea. I hopped the ferry from Seoul to Qingdao and proceeded in a more or less clockwise fashion, reaching the Yunnan countryside before my first collision with baijiu. The stuff we tried was made by local villagers and, being an Appalachian kid, I drank it like moonshine from a jar I had packed full with berries. I also tried a little on its own, but immediately thought better of it.
When did you first begin to appreciate baijiu?
I returned to China in 2012 and cracked open a Red Star from time to time, but only as a means of letting loose. I couldn’t get into the flavor. When a friend from Guizhou asked if I liked baijiu, I hesitated, and he practically force-fed me several cups of Maotai. That was when the lights turned on.
What are your favorite baijius?
I like the peachy fragrance of a Luzhou Laojiao, a steely Kinsmen Kaoliang 58 or a pungent Wuliangye, but there’s nothing like getting lost in the flavor labyrinth of a smoky Maotai.
Read more ‘confessions’ here.
World Baijiu Day is held each August 9. See our 2018 event list here. The 2019 list is coming soon. Follow World Baijiu Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get in touch with Jim Boyce via spirit (at) worldbaijiuday.com.