The 2,000 year history of China’s ‘national liquor’ Maotai: truthful tale or myth to help market it to the masses?

As part of the ongoing effort to project Chinese culture, or “soft power”, abroad, a baijiu college has been established in Sichuan province, at a cost of 400 million yuan (US$ 58 million), with the goal of training sommeliers who specialise in the eponymous tipple. It is hoped that graduates from the college will help make the hitherto unfamiliar baijiu roll off people’s tongues, and down their throats, in the same way that gin, tequila, vodka, whisky and sake do. The…

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