The Great Spirit of Drinking
There is always a funny show to watch at the end of each drinking party— the drunkards may be crying and screaming, or perhaps tumbling and vomiting their innards out. When they sober up and are asked about the taste of their drink of choice, they would probably tell you how bad it was. “The beer tastes like horse urine”; “red wine tastes like vinegar”; “western liquors all have a disgusting smell of herbal medicine” are perhaps some reports one would hear. Is baijiu ( Chinese white ricebased spirits) any better? Nah, the burning throat is typically all I can remember—I feel bad about my stomach overstuffed with beer or red wine. The western liquors choke me, but baijiu is just too hot. They say those high- end Western spirits are good— Remy Martin, Château Lafite, Maota— but drinking them brings me little joy.
So, if you happen to witness this regretful way of drinking, you may say that Chinese people don’t know how to drink gracefully as westerners do, or that there is no such thing as “wine culture” in China. However, some essence of wine drinking does exist in the long history of the Chinese