More on Wine: Categories

I will continue with my views on wine.


First of all lets talk about categories.


The different kinds of Chinese 白酒 are not wine. They are spirits or distilled alcohol or eau de vie. In this they are similar to Whisky, Vodka, Akvavit, Grappa, Gin, Cognac, Calvados, Slivovitz and so on. This kind of fire water exists in many cultures and is drunk in many different ways.


My preferred eau de vie depends on circumstances.


A Scotch with a little water before dinner. A straight single Malt Scotch with a book in the evening. Calvados, Cognac or Grappa after a meal as a “digestif”.Akvavit with Swedish pickled herring or salmon cured in anis and dill. Or many rounds of 干杯with二锅头at a joyous Chinese dinner, only to be regretted the following morning!


绍兴酒 and Japanese Sake are rice wines, and the ideal accompaniment to certain cuisines. I still remember the exquisite meals I last had accompanied by 绍兴酒 at the 孔乙己 restaurant in Beijing or on the shores of the 西湖 in 杭州. In Japan I have had cup after cup of warm Sake while sitting on the tatami and playing silly games with Geishas, and I have had 冷酒 poured to overflowing in a Sake cup in an “Izakaya” or Japanese tapas restaurant.


But normally when I say wine I mean the wine of the grape. The next post will discuss wines.

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