The Best Kept Secrets behind Collecting Kweichow Moutai
If what a liquor embodies is a culture or a taste, then what vintage liquor carries are the accumulation of time and feelings towards the past, which have been significant to the human world. Today, more people see the value given to liquor by time and realize the purpose and significance of collecting liquor.
Kweichow Moutai is not only a famous alcoholic beverage popular in China, but is also an excellent example of a typical Chinese liquor, whose production involves unique fermentation and distilling technology, as well as blending processes. As a superior Jiang-fragrance (soy sauce-aroma) baijiu, Kweichow Moutai is very suitable for collecting no matter it is fresh from the distillery or vintage.
One of the features of its aroma is that it gets richer and stronger with time. Yet if you want to be one of the Moutai collectors, there are some techniques you need to know:
1/Volatilizing – it’s important to keep the liquor from volatizing, as this will not only decrease the volume of liquor inside the bottle, but also affect the richness of its aroma. And the value. Apart from checking in advance, volatilization during the process of storing is also an important factor. Keeping the appearance of the outer package and the remaining liquor in the bottle is as important, of course this depends on if you are collecting for demonstration or for trading.
2/Storage – proper storing condition is also crucial. Always remember the three main rules to follow. The optimal temperature for storing baijiu is 5 °C to 20°C and always avoid direct light and heat while ensuring good ventilation. Constant humidity between 60% and 70% is especially important, in regions of dry climate, it is recommended to put a glass of water to increase humidity. Last rule, yet the most easily neglected one, is to prevent the liquor aroma from being tainted by other odor.
3/Jargons – knowing some jargons about Moutai is necessary since these jargons always often indicate the information hidden behind including background stories and the storing-year.
4/Aroma – compared to fresh Moutai liquor, vintage Moutai liquor smells stronger in aroma, tastes richer in flavor and mellower in mouth-feel. “Vintage Moutai” is usually refer to Moutai whose manufacture date is over 10 years from the current date.
5/Product – Flying Fairy is not the only product line of Kweichow Moutai that is worth collecting. “Commemorative Moutai” refers to Moutai liquor that is specially produced to celebrate or commemorate certain big events or people. For example, “Moutai Chinese Zodiac Animal Liquor” is a collection launched every year based on each year’s corresponding Chinese zodiac animal. Every year, renowned masters of traditional Chinese paintings will be invited to design the back label of the bottle based on interesting background stories about the specific zodiac animal, bringing out good blessings.
6/Labels – the labels on the Moutai bottles also determine the collection value. For example:
“Five-Star” labels are for domestic sales while to be more specific, “Vintage Five-Star” refers to the “Five-Star” liquor manufactured from 1 May 1953 to 30 December 1982 while “New Five-Star” refers to manufactured date since 1 January 1983. “Reguar Five-Star” is the liquor with conventional packing circulated in the market.
7/Bottle Materials – special bottle materials usually indicate higher collection value. “Earth Ceramic Bottle” refers to Moutai bottles baked by local ceramic clay. “Bamboo Joint Bottle” is another kind of clay bottle used from early to mid-20th century. “Caramel Bottle” refers to the specially supplied caramel-color clay bottles during 1980 and 1986. “White Glass Bottle” is the one we are most familiar with, which has been in use since 1966 till now.
All in all, we collect Moutai liquor not only for its value as a commodity, but also for the connotation, stories and sense of the times embedded.
Source Reference: Moutai Magazine - International Edition Issue 28