Wine – natural alcoholic beverage, which has alcohol percentage between 9 – 14%. Wine is made from fermented grapes or other fruits. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different types of wine. There are many aspects which may have impact on the taste of wine: where it was made, what kind of grapes were used to make wine, in what kind of barrels wine was hold, how many years wine was hold. The older wine is – the better taste wine has.
Wine drinking in China is a common cultural heritage enjoyed by many different people in all over the world. The ways how people drink wine is different in each culture. The origins of fermenting and drinking wine in China go far back in time. The Chinese used wine as libation to their forefathers to express reverence, or enjoyed it by themselves, or to toast their relatives and friends during a feast. It is possible to say that wine occupies and important place in the culture and life of the Chinese people.
China has an uninterrupted cultural development for over 5000 years. Just like in other cultures, also in the Chinese it is not possible to trace the earliest discovery and the regular use of alcohol. In written sources it is mentioned „that about 5000 years ago the history of Chinese alcoholic liquor began, when people began to make wine. The Chinese people have long habit of drinking.“
There may be some problems with word „wine“ in chinese language. In Chinese language the general term for alcohol is jiu. But talking about wine the word would be putao jiu (grape wine). Chinese have been making wine for thousands of years, but it was not very popular between people from west. Probably because Chinese wine goes for quantity, not for quality. Also Chinese add herbs to their wines, which increase oxidation, something that people from west not prefer. That is why it is not very popular in other countries.
In 2003 Chinese wines became a little better, because government banned thickeners, saccharin, cyclamates, artificial colors and other additives. But Chinese still make wine not only from grapes. It is possible to find wine, which is made from apple-juice concentrate mixed with grain alcohol.
Chinese wine grapes grow in many places in China, but some of these places are too cold in winter, so vintners have to keep them warm. About 40 percent of China's wine production is in Shandong province between Bohair Bay and the Yellow Sea. Xinjiang and Hebei Provinces are being developed into wine producing areas. There are more problems with strong summer rain( humidity level over 85 percent) and lack of experience of wine makers. „Red wine and sprite – the more you drink the sweeter you‘ll be“ – one popular saying. Chinese like to mix Coca-Cola with white wine and Sprite with red wine. One chinese man who mixes red wine and Sprite said „Wine tastes too bitter, but the more we drink mixed wine, the more we like it“. Some people from China also like to add things like watermelon slices, onion, lemonade, cucumbers, lemon slices. White wine is less popular that red wine, probably because red color for Chinese people means good luck, success. People in China likes image of drinking wine. They think that people who drink good wine have higher social status. „They are not going to drink it, instead they just want to show it to their friends – when they have a guest over they say, „Hey, look! I have a bottle of Chateau Lafite, aren‘t I awesome!““(John Artman, 2012). Face is important in China and wine is a part of it. Many people buy wine for status. Chinese wine popularity is not very big in world market. Most popular wine is made in France, Italy, Spain, United States, Argentina. Chinese wine popularity is growing every year. Talking about 2007 years China was making 1,450,000 tones of wine a year, in 2008 – 1,500,000 tones, 2009 – 1,550,000 tones, 2010 – 1,657,500 tones. But talking about other countries these numbers are not so big, for example…