Four famous wines in ancient China were Wuxi Huiquan Wine, a wine made from Huishan Mountain’s spring water; Shaoxing Jiafan Wine; Danyang Fenggang Wine, a wine brewed in an airtight crock; and Fujian Chengang Wine.
As a model of ripe wine produced in Jiangsu province, Huiquan Wine was made from the water of an underground spring and high-quality glutinous rice in the south of Yangtze River. It is a yellow wine with a relatively high proportion of sugar. With thousands of years of cultural accumulation and technical improvement, it became a famous wine during the Ming Dynasty and an imperial wine during the Qing Dynasty. Huiquan Wine is legendary because it developed from a folk wine into an imperial wine and still maintains its popularity today.
Huiquan Wine has become perfect due to advanced techniques and scientific management. It is soft, fragrant and delicious with a long and delightful aftertaste.
Fangxian Yellow Wine
Fangling Yellow Wine was once an imperial wine bestowed by emperors onto officials. According to historical records, Shaoxing Yellow Wine came into being in 492 BC, while Fangling Yellow Wine became an imperial wine in 827 BC. Fangxian Yellow Wine boomed in the Tang Dynasty for it won the title of the Emperor’s Wine.
With a white or yellowish color and a sweet-and-sour flavor, yellow wine is indispensable for people in Fangxian county all year round in various ceremonies like weddings and funerals.
Classification of Yellow Wine
With thousands of years of development, the types of yellow wine have increased continuously. Yellow wine boasts a wide variety of categories and abundant names.
In ancient times, the most common classification of yellow wine was based on its place of production. There was Shaoxing Wine, Jinhua Wine, Danyang Wine, Jiujiang Fenggang Wine and Shandong Lanling Wine. According to its appearance, wine can be divided into clear wine, turbid wine, white wine, yellow wine and red wine (a wine made from monascus). According to the raw materials, wine can be divided into glutinous rice wine, black kerneled rice wine, corn yellow wine, millet wine and highland barley wine. There are also some habitual wine names, such as Shui Wine in Jiangxi province, Chou Wine in Shanxi province and Laobai Wine in Jiangnan. Aside from liquid wine, there is also semi-solid wine, called Jiuniang. All of these names possess distinctive local characteristics.
Traditional Drinking Method
Put the wine vessel into hot water or on a fire to heat the wine. After heating, the wine will be characterized by its fragrant and soft taste. However, the wine should not be heated for too long of a time, or the alcohol will volatilize and take away its flavor.
Generally speaking, drinking wine after heating is popular in winter. During summer, adding ice or cold soda water to sweet yellow wine can decrease its alcoholic strength and make it cool and delicious.