The Wine Tipster had another successful Instagram Live event with Cheng International and #AtHomeWithWuliangye this month. Talking with QiQi Cheng, The Wine Tipster introduced audiences to this highly sought-after Baijiu and its rich cultural history.
First created during the Ming Dynasty, Wuliangye is type of Baujiu that comes from the Sichuan province of South West China. This white spirit is still made in the original cellars that it first was over 6000 years ago, making them the oldest distilling cellars in China. Today, Wuliangye is a modern enterprise that has the world’s largest brewing facility of around 50,000 employees. Over 90% of Baijiu is consumed in China, thus it is The Wine Tipster’s great privilege to introduce UK drinkers to Wuliangye, especially as it has been listed as one of China’s National Intangible Cultural Heritages. It is available to buy from Harrods and Selfridges.
As a highly prized spirit, Wuliangye’s laborious and ancient fermenting and distilling processes bring a quality to the drink which befits its high price tag. Unlike other types of Baijiu, Wuliangye is made from the grain sorghum along with rice, glutinous rice, wheat and corn, which give it its unique characteristic sweetness.
In the #AtHomeWithWuliangye on Cheng International’s Instagram Live, The Wine Tipster talked audiences through three Wuliangyes. The following tasting notes recap his tasting session for those who were unable to tune in:
Firstly, Wuliangye Crystal 42% has a clean nose that brings notes of papaya, banana and rose with undertones of earthy savouriness and top notes of aniseed. The bright palate of this Wuliangye leads to an umami smokiness that leaves a lovely sweetness of pineapple on the finish. Overall, this extremely fine taste experience makes this Wuliangye a beautiful spirit to enjoy neat.
Secondly, Wuliangye Blue Elegance 50% brings warm, clean notes with a top note of aniseed when consumed neat. This Wuliangye brings strong pineapple, mango and tropical notes which come through on the palate with a sweetness and a tang. The complexity of this Wuliangye makes it a perfect addition to cocktails. Try The Wine Tipster’s take on a Piña Colada, the Piña Wuliangye, which brings out the pineapple notes of the drink perfectly.
In a cocktail shaker combine:
Shake to mix and serve garnished with a slice of fresh pineapple.
Finally, The Wine Tipster’s notes on Wuliangye 1618 52% highlight yet another fantastic drink from Cheng International. This Baijiu has soft vanilla and warm grain notes, with a peppery edge. The beautiful intensity of this spirit brings a subtle tropicality with a complexity of spices that open up over the palate. Overall, served neat, this Wuliangye is a lovely balance between savoury, herbal and tropical flavours which result in great harmony.
These luxurious and historic Baijius prove to be an immensely satisfying and rewarding tasting experience, both neat and in more modern mixes. Keep up to date with more in the #AtHomeWithWuliangye series on Cheng International’s Instagram, as Enrico Gonazato gets ready to show you more fantastic Wuliangye cocktails to try. For orders, contact email@example.com and consider giving this ancient drink a place in your drinks cabinet.
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