Talk:Chinese alcoholic beverages

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Move to Chinese wine?[edit]

Move to Chinese wine? --Jiang

When I wrote this initially, I tried to use the native names, e.g. Yuk Bing Shiu is a rice wine originated in the south, most likely in Canton. I used its Cantonese name. But someone changed it into Mandarin. It is okay either way, but shouldn't names be left in their native pronunciation? Kowloonese 20:06, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)
no, the Cantonese shouldnt be replaced. it should be in both forms, separated by a slash --Jiang 20:50, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Separate articles?[edit]

What is the thought about having each wine (or at least the major ones) in a separate article? Like European wines are in Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.? Badagnani 15:49, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

In all other forein versions, distilled types and fermented types are separate. I think at least this article should be separated into two. 09:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
This is a separate issue. I am uncertain now whether mijiu might actually be distilled also, then diluted. The bottle of cooking mijiu I just bought says that it's "distilled rice wine." Badagnani 22:32, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
My understanding is that "white liquor" can be both distilled and made "as is", where as "yellow liquor" (red and black also exist) is only "as is". Addition of herbs and spices can be done pre and post fermentation and also after distillation. Each of these vary with the type and brand of liquor. As for the actual manufacturing process, very little information exists on this topic in both english and chinese web sources (The information I entered is gleaned from Japanese sites). What is known is that the production technique/process is similar to the way Japanese and Korean liquors are made, with the inclusion of certain herbs, spices, or fermenting microbes. Some chinese liquors are also fortified with other liquors (in the sense that European port is fortified wine). Some manufacturers also have an interesting habit of fortifying their "natural" liquor with industrial ethanol, which, while not exactly toxic is still not a pleasant thought. I do see this article splitting or budding out in the future, but first more information and sources are needede. Sjschen 05:57, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! Do you by chance know the characters for "hung lu jiu" (maybe not the right pinyin), a red-colored (and bad-smelling, IMO) cooking wine that is one grade below shaoxingjiu? Kowloonese was asking about it below. Badagnani 06:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of Chinese rice wines, most likely because I have not been exposed it extensively. As such I have not really paid much attention to what's out there. I do think Ihave seen "huang lu jiu" before but I have never tried it. Sjschen 06:55, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


Why are mijiu, shaoxing, hung lu, etc. not mentioned in this article? Badagnani 00:15, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Mijiu is just a generic name. It literally means "rice wine". You will find several examples of mijiu in the article if you read carefully. Shaoxing is also mentioned in the section about Huadiao
Huadiao jiu, Nü'er hong, and Shaoxing jiu are basically made of the same wine except they are named differently depending on the age, the container and how they are used. It is not uncommon to have Huadiao aged 50 years or more.
Sorry, I cannot disamb what hung lu is. Do you know the native text of it?Kowloonese 19:25, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't know the characters for hung lu but I'll look.

Xiaomi jiu[edit]

This text is found in the sake article. Can it be added (if correct) to this article?

"Chinese millet wine, xǐao mǐ jǐu (小米酒), made the same way, is mentioned in inscriptions from the 14th century BC as being offered to the gods in religious rituals." Badagnani 10:01, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

"New" information[edit]

This text was just removed from the Maotai article but belongs here, if accurate. Is any of this useful? Badagnani 22:27, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Was going to write something like that, it sounds good. Sjschen 21:40, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
[Removed], since incorporated into article. — LlywelynII 09:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Another classification system?[edit]

Sjschen, here's another possible classification system that you might want to add if it's legit. Courtesy of Kowloonese:

Apparently, Chinese wine can be classified by their fragrances. Googling 酱香酒 found me a page talking about different Chinese wine categories: 中国酒的香型也很多,主要有以茅台为代表的酱香酒 (sauce fragrance),以泸州老窖为代表的香酒 (heavy fragrance),以山西汾酒为代表的香酒 (light fragrance),还有米香型 (rice fragrance)、香型 (Honey fragrance) 等等,这些酒都是蒸溜酒. See also [1] for more on the fragrance classification. Not sure what "sauce" really mean, but I don't think it is related to cooking though. Kowloonese 00:29, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Badagnani 19:48, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

No idea, will do some research. Sjschen 19:59, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
酒 is a common misused term. In reality it should only be used for strong liquors that have been distilled to have such a high alcohol percentage for it to burn in the atmosphere. If a "liquor" (酒) can not "burn" (烧), then it can not be called 烧酒. However it seems nothing can stop the ignorant from calling almost any type of liquor as 烧酒. Usally in order for a liquor to burn, it must have more than 40% alcohol in it. Its high burning sensation is caused by the high level of alcohol in it and not by anything else. The real reson why you can not find liquors that come with such a strong burning sensation as that of which is give off by the 烧酒 is because it just don't have enough alcohol in it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:59, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
We really need more expertise on this one. Benjwong (talk) 16:25, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Syntax suggestions[edit]

Suggestions: 1) "leaven" is not often used except in an old sense, to describe yeast used in the rising of bread (not in the fermentation of alcoholic beverages). Suggestion: replace with "yeast." Does this make sense in the translation from Chinese? 2) "Unctuous"/"unctuousness" is not a well known word in English. Further, it doesn't have a good connotation--it means kind of greasy or ointment-like. Could we use a different word? I assume it means that it has a "creamy" or somewhat viscous "mouth feel," so there must be a number of other terms that could substitute for "unctuous" that could be borrowed from wine tasting terminology. Badagnani 21:08, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm fine with changing "leaven", but not to "yeast". The cake/powedr is a mass of yeast and mold, as such I prefer either "starter" or "innoculant". As for "unctuousness", it is not a common english word, but then again, it's VERY difficult to describe food taste in English in general. Words like 甘 is impossible to describe and translate into English. Heck "umami" has only recently been adopted, and I think "unctuous" is a great word. This is a good first step in getting people to gain more vocab, cuz people need more words. Sjschen 21:59, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, unctuous is a good word. If you think "unctuous" accurate describes the mouthfeel, then I guess it's OK. It sounded like the kind of word one of those little electronic Chinese-English dictionaries might spit out.
Regarding the mold-yeast cake, who knows what to call it? Leaven specifically refers (from its Latin root) to the verb "to rise" and in this case there's no rising of bread going on, just fermentation and conversion of the starches in the grains. Badagnani 22:05, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
This is why I prefer "starter" to "leaven" and even "inoculant". Specifically a starter is a starch cultivated with yeast and some other organism. In sourdough bread this is yeast+lactobaccili+flour, in chinese liquour it's yeast+(asper./rhisopus)+rice.
On another note, I think we should just start using the term "liquor" instead of saying "wine", other than in the context of "chinese wine. I think this will improve the article, at least in terms of editing.
By the way "uctuous" is often used in the culinary world to describe "viscous and rich mouth feel", which is why I think more of the public should start to learn it. I also doubt that Chi. to Eng. will contain such a word, since it's not quite popular in ESL courses ;) Sjschen 06:49, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
In fact "unctious" is orginally a culinary term, and the usage to describe a slightly unpleasant person came later. It is related to the word "unction" which originally had some kind of food meaning, and persists in the catholic phrase "extreme unction".Eregli bob (talk) 06:15, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Regardless, it's a poor word to use now. — LlywelynII 09:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

Great work, Sjschen and all others. Do you think this article qualifies as a "good article" yet? Badagnani 21:54, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Getting there, but still quite far. Maybe we should focus more on tofu to get it to “good article”, if not featured :) Sjschen 21:59, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Yellow and white Articles[edit]

Now that we have Y and W classifications, maybe should start dividing production to Yellow and White liquors. If anything this may eventually spawn 2 new articles. Sjschen 22:08, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I think 2 articles is premature, but if you think production should be split into yellow and white that makes sense. But, as you edited before, the yellow wine leads into the white because the latter is made from the former.
My previous splitting of wine names under "fermented" and "distilled" could be changed to "yellow" and "white," as well -- what do you think? The alcohol percentage ranges of each should probably be kept in the headings, though, because it's not just the color that's different, but also the strength. Badagnani 22:14, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good Sjschen 23:02, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Hold on -- there *is* a "white liquor" article -- Baijiu. So there could probably be an equivalent Huangjiu article as well. But there will be overlap between Chinese wine and these articles. I guess the Baijiu and Huangjiu articles could be more specific. Badagnani 22:19, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. Though I think it will be a little bit more time before we will need to expand in that direction Sjschen 23:02, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Question about [edit]

Should this character also mean "yeast"? That isn't one of the definitions here: . Badagnani 06:11, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Further question: is listed here as first tone, but the wiktionary entry lists it as a different tone. Which is incorrect? Badagnani 23:03, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm tempted to say that it's regional variation or the something like the evolution of language in progress. I've heard it pronouned both ways, however it's not confusing because the context of its use disambiguates it. In short I think they are both correct, though I personally favor "qú". Sjschen 01:02, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
The regional variation makes sense, as for example in Cantonese words like "gam gwaat" will change characters from the original version to make the spelling more "logical."
But what about the simplified character (my question above)? Badagnani 01:56, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but it's more a word that needs to be used in context of 酒. Used by itself, no one will think of it as yeast, which is why I'm content in saying that's it's also the simplified character for 麴. See my comment in Talk:Red yeast rice Sjschen 03:06, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Need Chinese character help[edit]

Can someone tell me the third character in this wine's name? photo Badagnani 19:38, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Found it. Badagnani 19:54, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Time to split[edit]

This article has gathered enough stuff about yellow and white liquors to be split up. Do you think we should move the classification and types of white liquor to baijiu? Should chinese wine become "yellow liquor" or should it remain to contain information about both white and yellow liquors? Sjschen 03:31, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a hard question. Of course, the baijiu article does duplicate very closely the baijiu section in the Chinese wine article. I'm afraid I don't have an answer; the problem being that yellow and white liquors are closely related. I was thinking of just a disambig article called "Chinese wine" that would have nothing but links to "yellow liquor" and "baijiu" articles, but that's probably not good because Chinese wine should have an overview article on all wines, as we have it now.
Maybe the details on the varieties (which is getting long, especially for white liquors) should be moved into baijiu. Keep brief details on general history and types of Chinese wines in Chinese wine and move specific details to baijiu and yellow wine articles. I think I'd be okay with that. Badagnani 03:37, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
In that case I guess I'll keeep on adding to this article for a bit more. Sjschen 23:32, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


Can someone define this? 碧綠酒 The first character is hard because it can mean several different things. Badagnani 07:15, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

My guess is emerald/jade green wineSjschen 23:31, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Move Back To Wine[edit]

I believe that this article should be moved back to wine as was discussed much earlier in this talk section. -Vcelloho 00:55, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Move to Chinese alcoholic beverages[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Move. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 11:38, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

The article deals with what Chinese call jiu whcih is all alcoholic beverages. As the first line of the article states: "Jiu is the Chinese word that refers to all alcoholic beverages. This word has often been 'mistranslated into English as 'wine', although the meaning is closer to 'alcoholic beverage' or 'liquor.'" The article covers no true wines and less than half even deals with rice "wines". (True wines are dealt with at Wine in China.) — AjaxSmack 02:23, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Related move request at Talk:Korean wine. — AjaxSmack 04:55, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Tally in the discussion - Support : Oppose = 7 : 2 --Appletrees (talk) 00:50, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep at Chinese wine. Most common English usage for such beverages, a catch-all term for both fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages. Badagnani (talk) 02:32, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Please show evidence that "wine" is common English usage for a distilled beverage. I have never heard Whisk(e)y, Gin, Vodka, Tequila or other spirits called "wine" even in common parlance. — AjaxSmack 08:24, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Changed my mind. --Appletrees (talk) 04:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

You narrow down the definition of "wine" to only alcoholic beverage made of grape. "True wine" does not only refer to the wine, but also "the fermented juice of any of various other fruits or plants" according to the American Heritage[2] and Mirriam Webster Dictionary[3].--Appletrees (talk) 02:44, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

    • Agree. However, what is covered here is much more than "fermented juice." Distilled liquors, which are not wines, are treated as well. — AjaxSmack 08:24, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
    • I would argue that the use of the term "wine" to refer to non-grape-based drinks is archaic or limited to very specific circumstances (which I listed below), and that "Chinese wine" is not one of them. "Wine" is never used to refer to fermented drinks. Alexwoods (talk) 20:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment - "Wine" is never used to refer to fermented drinks? Is wine not produced via fermentation? Badagnani (talk) 21:05, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support after consideration - I'm persuaded by the other party's rationale. Clearly, the current title is confusing and doesn't cover Chinese distilled liquors. "Japanese wine" at Wiki refers to only wines made from grapes, and "Chinese alcoholic beverages" seems fair for the title. For consistency, I think Korean wine should be also moved to "Korean alcoholic beverages". --Appletrees (talk) 04:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Words can't express how in favor of this move I am. The English word 'wine' refers to fermented grape juice, full stop. Other uses, such as calling certain kinds of beer barleywine, calling sake rice wine, or calling mead honey wine, are archaic and barely used. Calling the myriad forms of Chinese alcohol 'wine' is a terrible, terrible translation. I would go so far as to say that the term 'Chinese wine' is Chinglish, menu English, and I would be shocked to see it in print in the West. This article should be moved to Chinese alcohol or some other correct and precise label. Alexwoods (talk) 14:14, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I've seen sake referred as "Japanese wine" (not Japanese "rice" wine) in the mentioned standard, so there would be Chinese wine in the same manner. --Appletrees (talk) 23:52, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
That's funny. I am a big sake drinker and I've never seen it referred to that way. Where have you seen that? Alexwoods (talk) 14:41, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Comment - Using singular "Chinese alcoholic beverage" is very, very bad, as it would appear from such a title that there is only one Chinese alcoholic beverage. Badagnani (talk) 20:00, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that's correct, the singular sounds funny. "Chinese alcohol" would be better, in my opinion, as would "Chinese alcoholic beverages". Alexwoods (talk) 20:14, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Comment - "Chinese alcohol" would refer to the chemical (such as rubbing alcohol. Badagnani (talk) 21:04, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think so. Alcohol often refers to what we drink - hard alcohol, calling someone an alcoholic, etc. Also, it's technically correct, whereas "wine" is not. However, I'd be happiest with "Chinese alcoholic beverages". Alexwoods (talk) 21:07, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that "Chinese alcohol reminds of the chemical produced in China". --Appletrees (talk) 23:52, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, let's call it "Chinese alcoholic beverages" then. Alexwoods (talk) 14:41, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose wine is not exclusive to grapes. rice wine is a common term in use. (talk) 03:59, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Conditional Support: I think Chinese liquor should be used, liquor can be any type of alcoholic drink and does not suffer as much from the ambiguity of terms like "wine" or "alcohol" Sjschen (talk) 07:13, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Comment - "Liquor" does generally refer only to distilled alcoholic beverages, and not to fermented ones (except in rare instances like chocolate liquor, which has no alcohol). Badagnani (talk) 07:43, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - The term "wine" (without any additional mentioning of source, such as apple, plum...) always refer to fermented grape juice in any sources written by people knowledgeable about beverages. Notice that apple wine, plum wine and cherry wine are not collectively known as wine(s), but as fruit wines! This defintion is also enacted in wine laws in a large number of countries, requiring all products sold simply as "wine" to be exclusively produced from grapes. Therefore, using a (sloppy?/mis-?)translation as a title of an encyclopedic article is clearly misleading. Tomas e (talk) 18:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - Please read all discussion before commenting. Rice wine has already been mentioned as a form of wine that is made from neither grape nor fruit. Badagnani (talk) 18:57, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - Of course I read all the comments, which should be quite obvious from the explanation I provided. Why would I otherwise bother to explain why various fruit wines are never referred to as wine collectively? That wine is fermented grape juice can be read in e.g. the Wikipedia article on wine and this use of the plain "wine" term is well established since several centuries, and is never applied in any other way in any professional or semi-professional setting I've encountered. (BTW, "rice wine" is also a case of another bad translation, since the production process has more in common with beer production, since it is based on starch conversion rather than directly fermentable sugars, so it is a very poor counter-example, but that's another discussion.) Tomas e (talk) 20:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - It doesn't matter if you think rice wine is a "bad" term--it's extremely widely used in the English language, as is "Chinese wine" to refer to Chinese alcoholic beverages. Badagnani (talk) 20:16, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - It also appears that you did not read the comment just above that said, "You narrow down the definition of 'wine' to only alcoholic beverage made of grape. 'True wine' does not only refer to the wine, but also "the fermented juice of any of various other fruits or plants" according to the American Heritage[2] and Mirriam Webster Dictionary[3]," relying instead on what can only be described as wishful thinking. Badagnani (talk) 20:18, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - this is getting repetitive. As I think Kusunose pointed out, it's not a question of thinking that it's a bad term, but of whether it's an accurate translation, which it isn't - it's misleading and not distinguishable from grape-based drinks that are produced in China. Also, the term is hardly widely used in the English language, unless you mean the English language as used by Chinese-speaking English-language learners, or as used on poorly-translated menus. Alexwoods (talk) 20:27, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - Rice wine is a standard English term, used by all English speakers in all regions of the world when referring to sake and similar beverages. Badagnani (talk) 20:31, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - I would think the term 'rice wine' would be an example of 'additional mentioning of source'. Alexwoods (talk) 19:01, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - The actual English term for wines from China are "rice wine," "sorghum wine," etc., with the catch-all heading being "Chinese wine." Badagnani (talk) 19:04, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Alexwoods, Tomas e & others. Wine is produced from grapes. Fruit wine is produced from whatever you like, and so long as you declare that in the name (barley wine, ginger wine, rice wine) it's perfectly ok to use the word "wine" with it. If you place the name of a country in front (French wine, German wine, Chinese wine) it refers to wine proceeding from fermented grapes from that country. Let's not name articles according to (innaccurate) colloqial use; change it to Chinese alcoholic beverages and mention the colloquial stuff in the lead. --mikaultalk 00:02, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Comment - This is the first mention I've seen of retaining the "colloquial stuff" (i.e., the use of "Chinese wine" to refer, in English, to both fermented and distilled grain alcoholic beverages) in the lead. If this is done, the move to "Chinese alcoholic beverages" might be okay. However, the article would then have to include at least a brief mention of Chinese beer (with probably a "Main article:" link to Chinese beer). Badagnani (talk) 00:31, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as (traditionally termed grape) wine has a main article in Wine in China and this article holds a much broader scope. MURGH disc. 18:08, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

A little background. When User:Alexwoods says, "I would go so far as to say that the term 'Chinese wine' is Chinglish, menu English, and I would be shocked to see it in print in the West", he has come pretty close to the case here. The term "wine" is commonly used by non-native Chinese speakers of English to refer to jiǔ and this can be credited to a shortcoming of English: the lack of a concise term for all alcoholic drinks/beverage. However, it is misleading to the vast majority of native and non-native English speaking Wikipedia users who are not familiar with this usage whether they assume wine to (narrowly) mean grape wine or (widely) mean any fermented drink. The existence of the Wine in China article dealing with true wines should attest to that. — AjaxSmack 19:48, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Since there is some argument about what wine is, please refer to the intro of the wine article which lists several meanings of wine which can be summarized from narrowest to widest meaning as follows:

  1. An alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of grape juice
  2. An alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of any juice
  3. An alcoholic beverage made by fermentation or brewing (multi-stage fermentation) with a certain alcohol content (~8-20%)
  4. An alcoholic beverage with a certain alcohol content (~8-20%)

Although some Chinese traditional jiǔs fit the 3rd and 4th definitions (e.g. mǐjiǔ [ rice "wine" ]) but many such as the mighty báijiǔ hard liquor clearly do not. it's fine to have rice wine at that location since there is no confusion with any "real" rice wine but that is not the case with this article. — AjaxSmack 21:36, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

WP:FOOD Tagging[edit]

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Sources for article expansion[edit]

  • Much, much more on the history, philology, and science of the development of Chinese alcohol can be found here, although it's only a partial view, so individual editors will only be able to read certain blocks of text. All the same, if you're interested in the subject, feel free to search the book. If you could, then add the appropriate info to the article. — LlywelynII 09:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)