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Jiangnan Lidong custom winter wine making

DailyBird Culture 2021-10-09 1 0

wine has a history of thousands of years in China. It is said that the brewing industry existed as early as the times of the Yellow Emperor and Xia Yu. In the long years, the ancestors have accumulated rich experience and lessons about wine making, some of which have even become the customs of later generations. For example, in Jiangnan area of China, every family used to make wine with surplus grain at the beginning of winter, so let the old yellow calendar introduce you to the customs of Jiangnan beginning of winter: Winter wine making.


in late autumn, the Tian family's harvest for a year has been. At this time, rent and grain are paid, and everything is in order. Farmers use surplus grain to make wine for the winter solstice and new year's day to enjoy God, worship ancestors and family banquets. The book of songs · Chen Feng · July sings: "peel dates in August and get rice in October. For this reason, spring wine is used to introduce eyebrows and longevity." the custom of making wine in October has been spread on this loess land for more than 2000 years.


the winter wine brewed by the Tian family mostly uses coarse grains as raw materials and herbal medicines as starter. The purity is low. People call it "Turbid wine" and "miscellaneous wine". Zhu humerus of the Song Dynasty also recorded the tips for brewing winter wine in the book of wine, saying: "holding a jar of winter mash and making wine in the winter moon make people hold a jar quickly and taste good." in order to brew a pot of good wine, farmers have to hold a jar of wine in person.


in addition to making wine in October, there was also the custom of making "wax wine" in December. Shen Chu, a native of the Qing Dynasty, recorded that "Su Cheng brews wine at Ladi. It smells clear in April and has good color and taste." he said that Suzhou people are used to making wine in late December and take it out and enjoy it in April next year.

about the brewing method of "La wine", as early as in the compilation of four seasons by Han e of the Tang Dynasty: "on the twelfth day (the eighth day of December), take a stone, put it in a non Tianjin device, soak three buckets of rice at the end of the song, and then put down four buckets of rice. On the 15th of the first month of the next year, there are three buckets of rice. On the second day of February, there are three buckets of rice. It will open outside on April 28." It's a pity that although this waxy wine is named after brewing in December, it will be brewed in the early summer of the next year, so it was not "waxy wine" to drink in the old winter.


Lu You, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty, also mentioned "wax wine" in his poem "touring the mountains and West Village": "don't laugh at the muddy wax wine in the farmhouse, and there are enough chickens and porpoises for guests in good years. Mountains and rivers are heavy, there is no way to doubt, willows and flowers are bright in another village. The flute and drum follow the spring society, and the clothes are simple and ancient. From now on, if you are free to ride the moon, the pole will knock on the door all the time and night."


at the end of winter, The author lost his way in the mountains. When he was secretly worried, suddenly there was a clear road ahead and a village appeared. When the farmers saw the guests coming, they enthusiastically took out the turbid wine made in winter, and killed chickens and dolphins to entertain the guests. The author was moved by the farmers' sincere hospitality and said that if they rise from now on, they will be drunk with the bright moon.

interestingly, according to the description in the poem, it can be judged that the season is around the winter solstice and new year's day, so his so-called "wax wine" is actually a winter wine brewed in October of the lunar calendar.


in winter, in addition to the common names of "Turbid wine" and "miscellaneous wine", there are also elegant names such as "autumn dew white", "October white", "Du maochai", "bamboo leaf green", "Dan Guihuang" and "rose red". The latter three may be related to the ingredients added in winter wine making. Among them, "danguihuang" is likely to be the "osmanthus winter wine making" which is still very popular in Suzhou today.

osmanthus is the city flower of Suzhou, and Guilin is often used in Suzhou gardens. In the Mid Autumn Festival, people collect and pickle the osmanthus in full bloom, and then they can make osmanthus cake, osmanthus taro seedlings, osmanthus Lantern Festival and other seasonal delicacies. In addition, it is to brew osmanthus winter wine. Today's osmanthus winter wine is not brewed by the people, but produced by the winery, so it is more fragrant and pure. When you visit Suzhou in winter and drink two cups of seasonal wine, you can better experience the beautiful flavor of the south of the Yangtze River.

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