Shaoxing Wine - the Best Chinese Yellow Wine
Pure Amber Color
Shaoxing Wine is amber or orange, transparent and pure. This transparent amber color mainly comes from the natural pigment of raw rice and wheat and the addition of a proper amount of caramel.
It has an attractive and compound fragrance. The fragrance is from aromatous substances like esters, alcohols, aldehydes, acids, carbonyl compounds and so on, which come from rice, wheat starter, and the metabolism of various microorganisms in the fermentation and the reaction of alcohol and acid in the storage period. The fragrance often tends to be stronger over time. So the oldest Shaoxing Wine is always the best Shaoxing Wine.
Six Taste of Shaoxing Wine
The taste of Chinese Shaoxing Wine is the richest among all Chinese Yellow Wine varieties. Basically it has six tastes, sweet, bitter, sour, pungent, umami, and astringent.
There are about eight kinds of saccharides mainly composed of glucose and maltose produced by hydrolysis of enzymes by rice and wheat. In addition, the sweet amino acid, glycerin, dextrin, polyol produced in the fermentation are also sweet, which gives it a sweet taste when drinking.
The bitterness comes mainly from amino acids, methylthio adenosine and amines produced during the fermentation process. The suitable bitter taste brings a special flavor to the Chinese Shaoxing Wine.
Pungent taste is not the taste that the drinker pursues, but it is an indispensable taste. It is mainly from alcohol and acetaldehyde. Moderately pungent taste has the effect of increasing appetite. Without it, Chinese Shaoxing Wine will lack a special taste like a normal drink.
They are respectively Yuanhong Wine, Huadiao Wine, Shanniang Wine and Xiangxue Wine classified by the content of sugar.
Yuanhong Wine is known for its red storage jar. The alcohol content is 16-19% and the sugar content is 4 - 8g every liter.
Huadiao Wine is the most famous Shaoxing Wine, and is the representative of half-dry Yellow Wine. The sugar content is about 15 - 30g every liter and the alcohol content is about 15%
Shanniang Wine is dark yellow and it taste sweeter than the previous two types. The sugar content is about 50 - 70g every liter and the alcohol content is 13.5-16.5%.
Xiangxue Wine is snow white and is the representative of sweet Yellow Wine. The sugar content is over 100g every liter, which is the highest in Shaoxing Wine. The alcohol content is above 20%.