Wine: Epilogue

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bai_jiu_2.jpg By: Anna Frodesiak https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Anna_Frodesiak

Other than that, Suzhou's Nuqi, Fuqi's Wanzao, Xuanzhou's Zaoerhong, are all subpar and unworthy of consideration. Like the quince1 from Yangzhou, they taste crass and vulgar. 此外如蘇州之女貞、福貞元燥,宣州之豆酒、通州之棗兒紅,俱不入流品,至不堪者,揚州之木瓜也,上口便俗。 Note: 1The Chinese term for quince is "wood melon" (木瓜). Depending on your the ancestral region of Chinese heritage, the term may indeed refer to quince as it … Continue reading Wine: Epilogue

Wine 9: Jinhua Wine (金華酒)

Jinhuan wine has the freshness of Shaoxing but it is not as astringent, it has the sweetness of Nuqi1 without the unrefined characteristics. Like other wines, it is also best when aged. All this is likely because the water running by Jinhua is clear and clean. 金華酒 金華酒,有紹興之清,無其澀;有女貞之甜,無其俗。亦以陳者為佳。蓋金華一路水清之故也。 Note: 1女貞酒 could be translated either as … Continue reading Wine 9: Jinhua Wine (金華酒)

Wine 8: Aged Sanbai Wine of Suzhou (蘇州陳三白酒)

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rice_wine,_aging_in_jars,_Wuzhan,_China_2006.jpg By: Benjamin Chan

On the thirtieth year of Qianlong,1 I was in Suzhou having a drink at Su Mu-an's house. The wine I had there was sweet and fair, and sticks to one's lips when drunk. Even when one's cup was full, the wine still does not spill out.2 After I have had fourteen cups of it, I … Continue reading Wine 8: Aged Sanbai Wine of Suzhou (蘇州陳三白酒)

Wine 7: Liyang Black Rice Wine (溧陽烏飯酒)

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Rice.jpg By: Sanjay Acharya https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sanjay_ach https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sanjay_ach

I almost never drink. Nevertheless, on the year of bingxu1 at the abode of Auditor Ye in Lishui, I drank sixteen cups of the black rice wine,2 which greatly shocked those around me. All of them pleaded with me to stop. Even though I was wreaking my composure, I could not control myself and put … Continue reading Wine 7: Liyang Black Rice Wine (溧陽烏飯酒)

Wine 6: Changzhou Lanling Wine (常州蘭陵酒)

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E9%9D%92%E7%93%B7%E9%AD%82%E7%93%B6_%E5%B8%B8%E5%B7%9E.jpg By: Isakomirro

In the Tang poems there is a passage: “Lanling's fair wine, thickly fragrant and golden bright.1 Held in a jade bowl, shimmering amber light.”2 I have travelled through Changzhou, and drank a wine aged for eight years with Liu Lun. It indeed had the brightness of amber, but its flavour was far too concentrated and … Continue reading Wine 6: Changzhou Lanling Wine (常州蘭陵酒)

Wine 5: Huzhou Nanxun Wine (湖州南潯酒)

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baijianlou.jpg By: TIY https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:TIY

Huzhou Nanxun1 wine has flavour similar to Shaoxing, but much more refreshing and piquant. Those which have been aged more than three years are the best. 湖州南潯酒湖州南潯酒,味似紹興,而清辣過之。亦以過三年者為佳。 1Nanxun was one of those beautiful, dreamy Zhejiang/Jiangsu towns interlaced by canals and streams. It is contained in Huzhou, just south of Suzhou.

Wine 4: Shaoxing Wine (紹興酒)

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shaoxing-jiu_bottles_by_udono.jpg By: udono https://www.flickr.com/photos/udono/

Shaoxing wine is like an upright and incorruptible official, unadulterated with even a hair of fakery, with a flavour that is authentic and true. It is also like a renowned scholar or mature warrior,1 who through their long lives have thoroughly examined and experience everything the world has to offer, thus attaining a complex and … Continue reading Wine 4: Shaoxing Wine (紹興酒)

Wine 2: Dezhou Lu Wine (德州盧酒)

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinese_plum_wine_on_the_rocks.jpg By: SKopp https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:SKopp

Made in the household of Transport Officer Lu Yayu. The colour is similar to most wines but its flavours are more concentrated. 德州盧酒 盧雅雨轉運家所造,色如于酒,而味略厚。 Note: The image has likely nothing to do with the alcoholic drink described by Yuan Mei. But considering the complete lack of descriptions, I'm taking the liberty here to post the … Continue reading Wine 2: Dezhou Lu Wine (德州盧酒)