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From Shaoxing to Tokyo: Yellow Rice Wine Connects Two Rich Cultures

From Shaoxing to Tokyo: Yellow Rice Wine Connects Two Rich Cultures

Amid growing trade and cultural exchanges, Shaoxing Huangjiu emerges as a bridge between Chinese heritage and Japanese enthusiasts

TOKYO, June 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – Shaoxing, a city on China's southeastern coast, has been known by various names—Kuaiji, Shanyin, and Yuezhou—during a rich history spanning over 2,500 years. It is recognized as one of the original National Famous Historical and Cultural Cities and is also celebrated as the Capital of East Asian Culture. Shaoxing is acclaimed for its scenic waterways, architecturally significant bridges, and as a center for calligraphy and scholarly pursuits. The city is also the birthplace of Shaoxing Huangjiu, a globally renowned yellow rice wine.  


Shaoxing Huangjiu epitomizes a natural rice wine that harmoniously blends the spirit of nature with the essence of grains. The wine's unique profile is shaped by the region's exceptional natural resources: the high-quality water from Jian Lake, the locally sourced glutinous rice and the humid climate, each playing a critical role in defining its distinctiveness. Shaoxing Huangjiu, further enriched by a brewing technique that has been handed down through generations, stands as a testament to the heritage and quality of East Asian viniculture.

"Nature follows its seasons, the earth has its essence, materials possess beauty, and craftsmanship demonstrates skill."

Shaoxing Huangjiu exemplifies these principles. Characterized by its low alcohol content, this wine is meticulously crafted with water sourced from Jian Lake, Shaoxing glutinous rice, and wheat. The brewing process incorporates saccharification and fermentation with the aid of beneficial microorganisms found in Chinese yeast and wheat koji, which impart a unique complexity to the wine. Shaoxing Huangjiu displays a yellow or amber hue, boasting clarity and a brilliant transparency. The flavor profile is a nuanced harmony of sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, fresh, and astringent notes, culminating in a refreshingly mellow taste. The aroma is robust yet refined, mature yet gentle, embodying a healthy, nutrient-rich character that makes the wine particularly suited for health care purposes.

Recognized as China's premier yellow rice wine, Shaoxing Huangjiu holds the distinction of being the first product in the country to receive a protected designation of origin. Its brewing technique has secured a spot in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage. With a unique production process and a mellow taste, the wine has earned accolades from both consumers and connoisseurs worldwide.

As cultural and commercial ties between China and Japan grow stronger, more Japanese visitors are traveling to China to explore its rich cultural heritage. One of the key culinary attractions is a Shaoxing Huangjiu tasting tour. Concurrently, producers of the Chinese yellow wine are making inroads internationally, notably introducing Shaoxing Huangjiu to the Japanese market. The expansion has opened up opportunities for a broader audience to appreciate the nuances of this exquisite beverage.

From June 19-21, twelve Shaoxing-based producers and distributors of yellow wine will be present at the Japan Int'l Food Expo (JFEX) in Tokyo. The expo will feature a special zone dedicated to Shaoxing Huangjiu, providing a unique opportunity for attendees to sample and learn more about the traditional Chinese wine. Visitors are invited to the zone to taste Shaoxing yellow wine and engage with its rich cultural and flavor profiles.

 

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