Shaoxing wine

Shaoxing wine

Shaoxing wine
A smaller scaled version of the classic Shaoxing wine container
Traditional Chinese 紹興酒
Simplified Chinese 绍兴酒

Shaoxing wine is one of the most famous varieties of huangjiu, or traditional Chinese wines, fermented from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It is widely used as both a beverage and a cooking wine in Chinese cuisine. It is internationally well known and renowned throughout mainland China, as well as in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.[1]


Shaoxing wine has been in production since dynastic times. Large quantities are made and stored in the classic Shaoxing wine container over long periods of time.[1] It is also bottled for domestic consumption and for shipping internationally. Aged wines are referred to by year of brewing, similar to grape vintage year (chénnián, 陳年).


(in Chinese)
Literal translation Sugar content
Type % Ethanol
Premier red wine < 5 Dry wine > 14.5
jiafanjiu 加饭酒
= huadiaojiu 花雕酒
Wine with added rice
Wine in jar, engraved with flowers
5–30 Semi-dry wine > 16.0
shanniangjiu 善酿酒 Well-fermented wine 30–100 Sweet wine (moelleux) >15.0
xiangxuejiu 香雪酒
= fenggangjiu 封缸酒
Snow-flavored wine
Jug wine
200 Sweet wine (doux) >13.0


Shaoxing wine can be drunk as a beverage and is considered to take the place of rice at the beginning of a meal. When at home some families will drink their wine out of rice bowls-which is also the serving style at Xian Heng Jiu Dian (see link below). Women customarily do not drink very much as it is considered somewhat unbecoming. If not served at a meal, Shaoxing wine can also accompany peanuts or other common snacks.

Huang jiu 黄酒, as it is known locally, is also well known for its use in meat dishes, in addition to being an ingredient in many dishes of Chinese cuisine. It is a key ingredient of Mao Zedong's favourite dish of braised pork belly with mushrooms and scallion greens - what he called his "brain food" that helped him defeat his enemies.[3] The following is a sample list of other common Shaoxing wine-marinated dishes. It is not limited to the following:[1]


One prominent producer of Shaoxing wine is Zhejiang Gu Yue Long Shan Shaoxing Wine Co., Ltd. (古越龍山) of Shaoxing, Zhejiang.[4] Other popular brands include: Di ju tang 帝聚堂, Kuai ji Shan (named after a local mountain), and Tu Shao Jiu 土绍酒.

See also


  1. ^ a b c TVB show Natural Heritage 天賜良源 episode 1 January 30, 2008. Shaoxing wine exclusive
  2. ^ Lee, Yuan-Kun (2006). Microbial Biotechnology: Principles and Applications (2nd revised ed.). World Scientific.  
  3. ^ Malcolm Moore (29 January 2010). "China sets standard for Chairman Mao's favourite dish". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  4. ^

External links

  • Shaoxing wine
  • Shaoxing wine series from the Iron Chevsky wine blog