Chinese Wine Culture • Introduction of Chinese Wine • The Origin of Chinese Wine • Classification of Chinese Wine • Famous Chinese Wines • Occasions & Customs of Wine Drinking in China • Drinking Etiquettes in China • Chinese Poets with Wine • The stories about wine
Introduction • Wine has a close connection with culture in China both in ancient and modern times. “Wine drinking is something of learning rather than eating and drinking." • Wine has a history as long as that of mankind. According to legend, the Chinese people began to make wine with grains seven thousand years ago; with animal milk, ten thousand years ago.
Wine has close connection with social customs in China. There are fifty-six nationalities in China and drinking customs vary from nationality to nationality. For instance, the Mongolians will present three cups of wine to a guest and go on singing songs of wine until the guest finishes them.
Wine has been an inseparable part of the life of ordinary Chinese people through numerous events such as birthday, farewell dinner, wedding, etc. • Wine has also appealed to literary and refined scholars and many anecdotes about their drinking were handed down from generation to generation, such as li Bai, Tao Yuanming, etc.
The Origin of Chinese Wine • The origins of the alcoholic beverage from fermented grain in China cannot be traced definitively. A legend said that Yidi(仪狄), the wife of the first dynasty‘s king Yu(禹) invented the method. Another legend says that liquor was invented by Du Kang (杜康). At that time millet( was the main grain, the so-called "yellow liquor (huáng jiǔ黄酒)", then rice became more popular. It was not until the 19th century that distilled drinks become more popular. Traditionally, Chinese distilled liquors are consumed together with food rather than drunk on their own.
Legends of Origin of Brewing Alcoholic Beverages the forefather of wine production in China Yidi （仪狄）
A Legend of Du Kang • It is said that Du Kang was also called Shaokang（少康） and lived in the Xia Dynasty about 3900 years ago. He lived on graze （放牧）when he was young, and often forgot to have meals which he brought and hung on the tree. Later, he found that the taste of meal he left on the tree had changed, and the juices were especially luscious（甘美的）. This interested him and made him think and study again and again. Finally, he learned the principle of natural fermentation and tried to improve his method. At last, a complete method of wine production was invented. Although this is only a legend, Du Kang was still regarded by later people as the forefather of wine production in China. Furthermore, wines are named “Du Kang Wine” by some people.
Classification of Chinese Wine • Grain-based Huangjiu and Choujiu (Fermented beverages) • Grain-based Baijiu (Distilled beverages) • Medicated Liquor • Fruit- based wines • Beer
medicated wine white wine yellow wine fruit wine Beer
Huangjiu（"yellow liquor"） • Huang Jiu predates all the other liquors, with a history of several thousand years. • Huangjiu is also known as “laojiu“(老酒), which is brewed from grain with wheat Qu（曲） or Xiao Qu（小曲） used as fermenting agents. It is one of three dominated brewed wines (beer and grape wine) in the world.
These wine are traditionally pasteurized（消毒）, aged（熟化）, and filtered（过滤） before their final bottling for sale to consumers. • The alcohol content is mild, at around 15%.Huangjiu can also be distilled(蒸馏） to produce baijiu（white liquors）and it is used as the base of “yaojiu” (medicated liquors ). It is also an excellent condiment 佐料，调味品for cooking. Among these liquors the Shaoxing Rice Wine is the most famous.
Baijiu (White liquors ) • White liquors are also commonly called shaojiu(烧酒; lit. "hot liquor" or "burned liquor"), either because of the burning sensation in the mouth during consumption, the fact that they are usually warmed before being consumed, or because of the heating required for distillation.
Baijiu（“white liquor" ） • Baijiu, which includes spirits, is made from sorghum高粱, corn, barley or wheat, most of which are easy to ferment. Colorless and transparent(透明的), Liquors of this type typically contain more than 30% alcohol in volume since they have undergone distillation. Some white liquors contain over 50% alcohol. The alcohol strength varies between 55 and 65 percent. A small quantity can make one tipsy（醉人的） in a moment. Of the most famous of baijiu are Guizhou Maotai, Wuliangye, Shanxi Fenjiu and Luzhou Daqu.
While yellow liquors have a wide variety of classification methods, white liquors are grouped primarily by their type of fragrance. • There are three main groups of white liquors according to their characteristics due to the different fermentation methods. They are qingxiang(清香light fragrance), jiangxiang(酱香soy fragrance) and nongxiang (浓香strong fragrance).
Liquor with light fragrance • Those that may ferment in clay vats缸 obtain a light and transient aroma芳香 and are called liquor with qingxiang, a light fragrance. A famous example of this is Fenjiu from Shanxi .
Liquor with soy fragrance • liquor with jiangxiang is made with yeasts that have been prepared under high temperatures, which also requires a larger amount of yeast than normally, ferments at a higher temperature. This yeast becomes very dark and gives the distillate a very special character that is comparable to the taste of soy, and is consequently called, a soy fragrance. A typical example of liquor with this taste is Maotai from Guizhou .
Liquor with strong fragrance • Liquors that are fermented in earth cellars are affected by bacteria in the ground. This creates very special esters, acids and oils which are highly aromatic. Such liquor is called nongxiang, a strong fragrance. The three best ones are considered to be Mianzhu Daqu, Wuliangye from Yibin and Luzhou Laojiao Daqu. The production process is absolutely unique. They have the characteristics including full-flavor after taste, freshness and light sweetness. Every one will never forget the good taste even he only taste a sip of it.
Medicated Liquor • Medicated liquor refers to a transparent medicated liquid obtained by using wine as a solvent to soak out the effective components of herbs. • Most medicated liquors are taken orally, while some are for external use. To improve the taste, crystal sugar or honey can be added to the medicated wine.
Because liquor itself has the effect for stimulating blood circulation and relaxing muscles and joints, it can be used to treat general asthenia (loss of strength), rheumatic(风湿性的) pain, and traumatic(外伤的 )injury. In addition, alcohol is a kind of good menstruum (solvent), which may distill (extract) a higher proportion of ingredients from medical material.
Chinese people like to use precious medical material to make medical liquor, which can reinforce body fluid and nourish the blood.However, though medical liquor is good for the human body, it cannot be drunk superfluously. A frequency of 2 or 3 times a day with each dosage measuring 10 ml to 50 ml is proper for people.
Fruit Wine Classification: • A: Classified by grape: Wild Grape Wine Planted Grape Wine • B: Classified by color: White Wine Red Wine Rose Wine • C: Classified by content of sugar: Dry Wine Semi-dry Wine • D: Classified by carbonation : Pure Wine Sparkling Wine • E: Herbal Added Wine Classification • F: Brandy
Fruit Wine • A: Classified by grape: Wild Grape Wine : wine made from natural wild grape. Planted Grape Wine: wine made from different varieties of planted grapes
Fruit Wine • B: Classified by color White Wine: wine made from white grapes or light-red-skin grapes. Grape juice is separated from skin and only juice goes for fermentation to make wine. The color of this variety of wine starts from pale with green tinge, pale straw, straw to dark straw. Red Wine: wine made from redskin grapes. Grape juice and skin go for fermentation together first and then separated for winemaking. The color of this variety of wine starts from rose, ruby, rich ruby to plum and dark plum. Rose Wine: wine made from redskin white pulp grapes. Grape juice and skin go for fermentation together for a short period of time. When the juice gets the desired color, juice is separated from the skin and other residues for further fermentation and then made into rose wine.
Fruit Wine • C: Classified by content of sugar:Dry Wine: only little sugar is left after fermentation. The content of sugar is less than 4 grams per liter. The taste of wine is sour instead of sweet.Semi-dry Wine: the content of sugar is between 4 and 12 grams and the taste of the wine is a little sweet.1. Semi-sweet Wine: the content of sugar is between 12-50 grams and the taste of the wine is sweet and smooth.2. Sweet Wine: the content of sugar is above 50 grams per liter and the taste of the wine is pure sweet.
Fruit Wine • D: Classified by carbonation1. Pure Wine: wine which is free from carbon dioxides.2. Sparkling Wine: wine which has carbon dioxides in it. Carbonated wine and champagne belong to this type.
Fruit Wine • E: Herbal Added Wine: wine that are added herbals which are good for stomach and spleen. For example, Changyu vermouth(苦艾酒)belongs to this type. Vermouth is made from an old variety of grapes and it is good for appetite.
Fruit Wine • F: Brandy: made from wine. They are distilled wine. The famous brandy is made in Cognac in France. It was not until early 20 century that Changyu began for the first time in China to make and sell brandy both in China and abroad.
Chinese Beer • Generically, beer is any alcoholic beverage produced through the fermentation of starchy materials and which is not distilled after fermentation. • 啤酒以大麦芽、酒花、水为主要原料，经酵母发酵作用酿制而成的，不经蒸馏，饱含二氧化碳的低酒精度酒。
Primitive Beer in Ancient China ---"Li" • In ancient China, people consumed a kind of alcoholic drink called “Li“(醴 ) which was made from malted(麦芽 )cereals. Li has been considered as a type of primitive beer in remote ancient times. After Han Dynasty or so, Li was substituted by rice wine made by Qu ( it is called “曲” in Chinese). Then, Li, due to its low alcohol content, was obsolete from the banquet and even nobody knew exactly how Li was brewed.
Li was first recorded in “Jia Gu Wen” ( inscription on bones or tortoise shells) in Shang Dynasty ( from 16th century B.C. to 11th century B.C.). Although there were no complete descriptions about brewing process of Li, some characters and phrases carved on the bones or tortoise shells have been identified to be related to brewing process, such as “NIE”, meaning malted（麦芽） cereals or malting, “JIAN”, meaning “filtration（过滤, ）. There were newly brewed Li and aged Li used on different occasions.
In Zhou Dynasty, alcoholic beverages was classified into two types: rice wine and "Li". In Han Dynasty, Li was no longer the major alcoholic drink consumed because the rice wine brewing techniques was spreaded out everywhere. A kind of drink characterized by low alcohol and made with Qu in a short time was also called "Li", probably because of misunderstanding meaning of the original "Li"；
During the period of Northern and Southern Dynasty (420- 581 A.D.), Li made from malted cereals had been thoroughly absolete. Among more than 40 varieties of alcoholic drinks mentioned in << Qi Ming Yao Shu>>, there was no "Li", although the techniques for making wheat malt were described in detail. Now that rice wine made by Qu had the advantages of high proof of alcohol (usually 15% by volume), there was nothing strange that Li made from malted cereals had been substituted by rice wine.
It is concluded that Li and beer should belong to the same type of beverage with much lower alcohol content than rice wine in remote ancient times. With the changes of times, the primitive beer, Li made from malted cereals disappeared in China.
Famous Chinese Wine At the First National Wine Appraisal Conference held in 1952, eight brands of famous Chinese wine were awarded a prize. They were • Guizhou Maotai茅台 • Shanxi Fenjiu汾酒 • Shaanxi Xifeng西凤 • Luzhou Laojiao泸州老窖 • Shaoxing Jiafan绍兴加饭酒 • Red Rose Grape Wine红玫瑰葡萄酒 • Weimeisi味美思酒 • Special Fine Brandy. 烟台金奖白兰地
Famous Chinese Wine At the Second National Wine Appraisal Conference held in 1963, eighteen brands of famous Chinese wine were warded a prize. Anhui Gujinggong, Quanxing Twice Fully-Fermented Liquor全兴大曲酒 (四川成都) Chinese Red Grape Wine 夜光杯中国红葡萄酒(北京)、 Zhuyeqing竹叶青酒(山西汾阳杏花村)、 Qingdao White Grape Wine, Dongjiu董酒(贵州遵义)、 Special-Made Bejing Brandy 北京特制白兰地 Chengang Liquor沉缸酒(福建龙岩) Qingdao Beer Guizhou Maotai, Shanxi Fenjiu, Shaanxi Xifeng, Luzhou LaojiaoTwice Fully-Fermented Liquor 泸州老窖大曲酒 Shaoxing Jiafan绍兴加饭酒 Red Rose Grape Wine, Yantai Weimeisi, Yantai Special Fine Brandy, Sichuan Wuliangye
Famous Chinese Wine • In 1979, the Third National Wine Appraisal Conference was held and eighteen brands of famous Chinese wine were awarded a prize. Guizhou Maotai, Shanxi Fenjiu, Sichuan Wuliangye, Anhui Gujinggong, Yanghe Twice Fully-Fermented Liquor, Jiannanchun, Chinese Red Grape Wine, Yantai Weimeisi, Qingdao White Grape Wine, Yantai Special Fine Brandy, Dongjiu, Special-Made Bejing Brandy, Luzhou Laojiao Twice Fully-Fermented Liquor, Shaoxing Jiafan, Zhuyeqing, Qingdao Beer, Yantai Red Grape Wine Chengangjiu.
Some famous Chinese liquors • Maotai Liquor（茅台酒） • Fen Liquor（汾酒） • Five Grain Liquor（五粮液） • Luzhou Liquor（泸州老窖特曲） • Jiannanchun Liquor（剑南春） • Xifeng Liquor（西凤酒） • Gujinggong Liquor （古井贡酒） • Dong Liquor（董酒） • Shaoxing Wine • Dukang Wine • Bamboo-Leaf Green Liquor
Maotai Liquor Maotai town, Renhuai county, Guizhou
Maotai Liquor • Maotai Liquor is produced in Maotai town, Renhuai county in Guizhou Province. Together with Scotch Whisky and French Cognac Brandy, it is renowned as one of the Three Famous Wines in the world. • 茅台英国苏格兰威士忌和法国柯涅克白兰地并称为“世界三大名酒” • Due to the fragrance, purity, sweetness and refreshment, Maotai Liquor is regarded as the national liquor in China.
Dating back to the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, Maotai Liquor has a long history of brewage. As early as in the 18th century of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Maotai became the first excellent wine brand in large-scale production, with an annual output of 170 tons, which was very rare in China's wine brewage history. Before the liberation, there were three main wine factories in Guizhou, whose products were respectively called Hua Mao, Wang Mao and Lai Mao, among which Hua Mao is the predecessor of today's Maotai Liquor. In 1915, Maotai Liquor was brought to Panama World Exposition and awarded the gold medal of the exposition.
Maotai Liquor belongs to soy fragrance style,（ 酱香型） tasting pure, sweet and refreshing. Maotai Liquor is made of wheat and sorghum.The brewage of the liquor will go though 8 times of ferment and 9 times of distillation, the whole process lasts one year. After the process, the liquor will be stored for years. The specific techniques of brewage make the strong liquor suitable for drinking and beneficial to the health. You won't feel dizzy even if you drink too much.
Fen Liquor Fenyang, Shanxi
Fen Liquor • The Fen Liquor is produced in Xinghua Village, Fenyang in Shanxi Province. Enjoying a history of more than 1,500 years, it is the father of Chinese famous liquors. It uses the Yibazhua sorghum produced in Jinzhong Plain in Fenyang and the mellow Gujingjia Spring as ingredients. Through the process of brewing technology, the Fen Liquor is clear, crystal, mildly aromatic and affords a lingering after-taste. Due to its best quality, it is always praised as the excellent liquor and fluid precious stone.
Five Grain Liquor Yibin, Sichuan
Five Grain Liquor • The Five Grain Liquor, produced in Yibin, Sichuan Province, gets the name from its five ingredients, including sorghum, rice, glutinous rice, corn and wheat. The water is taken from the center of Minjiang River. The wrapped starter (Baobaoqu), produced by pure wheat, is used as the raising agent. When the bottle opens, a strong fragrance scents the air.
五粮液 是中国最著名的白酒之一．是中国驰名商标，享有“名酒之乡”美称的四川省宜宾市，是宜宾五粮酒的故乡。 1928年，“利川永”烤酒作坊老板邓子均，又采用红高粱、大米、糯米、麦子、玉米五种粮食为原料，酿造出了香味纯浓的“杂粮酒”，送给当地团练局文书杨惠泉品尝，他认为此酒色、香、味均佳，又是用五种粮食酿造而成，使人闻名领味。从此，这种杂粮酒便以五粮液享于世人，流芳至今。蜚声中外、誉满神州的四川宜宾五粮液酒厂所产的交杯牌、五粮液牌五粮液（由“荔枝绿”——宜宾元曲而来），在中国浓香型酒中独树一帜，为四川省的六朵金花（泸州特曲、郎酒、剑南春、全兴大曲、五粮液、沱牌曲酒）之一。它以“香气悠久，滋味醇厚，进口甘美，入喉净爽，各味谐调，恰到好处”的风格。 宜宾五粮液，喷香浓郁，醇厚甘美，回味悠长，以优质糯米、大米、高粱、小麦、玉米五粮为原料酿制而得名。它是宜宾酒厂用“五粮配方，小麦制曲，人工培窖，双轮低温发酵，量质摘酒，按质拼坛，分级储存，精心勾兑”的独特技术和悠久的传统工艺精酿而成，不仅在国内驰名遐迩，而且远销国外。
Luzhou Liquor Luzhou, Sichuan