The only thing missing at the Moutai launch last night at the Pairi Daiza private zoo in Belgium (that two pandas call home) was the usual freebee bottle in the press pack. But at E180 a pop, its no wonder the stuff is not given away lightly, or at all. I had to source my own by winning a raffle and am probably now a pin-up in Chinese baiju bars, judging by the number of cameras and iphones which recorded the occasion for posterity.
Fellow Concours Mondial judge Aussie Mike Bennie would have made a worthy winner as the stuff tastes like Vegemite and Mike’s the spit of Afrikaans rof rapper Jack Parow. He would be the ideal person to market moutai to Moonee Ponds. But I think he was doing duty in a panda suit, clowning around and posing for ambitious selfies.
Moutai has a glorious past and this brand, founded in 1915 (shortly before the KWV was established in SA) was used to celebrate the downfall of the Gang of Four. It tastes like the kind of spirit with which to take on counter revolutionaries with a strong earthy flavour and potent fire that radiates out from the stomach. It is best drunk neat although a pink cocktail was popular last night with the tasters gathered to celebrate the launch of moutai in Belgium.
Exactly how it is made is a state secret, up there with the engineering drawings of the jade rabbit, now roaming around the moon claiming real estate for the People’s Republic. With the Chinese economy expected to overtake the US later this year, we’d better all get used to the taste of the future.