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Shao Xing Wine & where to purchase

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12 replies to this topic

#1 budrichard

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 01:05 PM

About 2 years ago i found a source for Shao Xing wine, not the cooking stuff. I purchased two bottles of different ages. I tossed the cooking wine I had. After running out, I revisted the place where I thought i purchased the wine and found no more. I can't find any, anywhere. I need a source in the Milwaukee-Chicago area from which to obtain this wine. Can anyone help with a supplier or importer? Thanks-Dick

#2 AzianBrewer

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 01:32 PM

About 2 years ago i found a source for Shao Xing wine, not the cooking stuff. I purchased two bottles of different ages. I tossed the cooking wine I had. After running out, I revisted the place where I thought i purchased the wine and found no more. I can't find any, anywhere. I need a source in the Milwaukee-Chicago area from which to obtain this wine. Can anyone help with a supplier or importer? Thanks-Dick

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Check out Chicago's Chinatown.
Leave the gun, take the canoli

#3 trillium

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 02:03 PM

I know that when I lived in Chicago I could sometimes find the non-salted kind in the shops along Argyle. The thing is, sometimes in small shops they are out for a while until the next shipment comes. That's what happens to us with our favorite soya sauce. You might try asking the shop owner about it, and even bring the bottle into the store to help the conversation.

regards,
trillium

#4 Laksa

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 02:13 PM

ShaoXing is home to many brewers who make many grades of wine with different drinking qualities.

The "Hua Diao Jiu" that's commonly used to cook works pretty well as a drinking wine.... if you can find a bottle without added salt.

I was told that just about all the "Hua Diao" imported into the U.S. has salt added, I presume to qualify for cooking wine status and thus escape taxes or duties of some sort.

It's a lot easier to find distilled "baijiu" (80-120 proof) the States than it is to find the less alcoholic "huangjiu" from ShaoXing.

Now that I see trillium's post, do you know if the ShaoXing with "no added salt" is sold at a higher price?

#5 trillium

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 06:19 PM

Yup. It's sold at a much higher price. The most expensive I ever bought was from Taiwan, not China, and cost a whopping $11 USD (it was at New May Wah in SF). It was extra aged or something, the reader in the house couldn't read all the characters. The more normal non-salted kind runs about $6 here in Portland, while the salted kind is around $3. I used to hate cooking with the salted kind because it would mess me up... plus the non-salted kind tastes better (to me).

regards,
trillium

#6 Shalmanese

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 11:42 PM

I think it has to do with the fact that unsalted wine has an extra alcohol tax placed on it since it's classified as a beverage while the salted kind is presumably considered a food additive.
PS: I am a guy.

#7 budrichard

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 01:50 PM

Mystery solved! After searching ALL of ChinaTown and Sam's with no luck other than salted cooking wine, on my back to Wisconsin I did my usual stop at Mitsuwa where I had originally thought I purchased the wine. There it was, 3 & 5 year old without salt! Imported by JFC International even though the website dosen't list it. -Dick

#8 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 02:24 PM

[...]There it was, 3 & 5 year old without salt! Imported by JFC International even though the website dosen't list it. -Dick

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budrichard: What price are they selling those ShaoXing wine at? Just curious.

Edited by hzrt8w, 17 November 2005 - 02:24 PM.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#9 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 04:55 PM

I wanted to experiment with some of the "drunken chicken" recipes, which call for Hua Diao [Mandarin] wine.

I just bought a bottle of Hua Diao wine (picture on the left), which costed me US $22.00, and I compared it side-by-side with my regular ShaoHsing cooking wine (picture on the right), which was sold at US $6.00. I poured a capful of each and tasted them. I could not detect any big difference, except that the ShaoHsing cooking wine had a trace of saltiness.

Posted ImagePosted Image
(Left: Hua Diao wine, 紹興花雕酒; Right: ShaoHsing cooking wine, 紹興酒)

Questions: Is this what the previous posts were talking about? Adding a little bit of salt and classifying it as cooking wine, they sell it at a much lower price?

Are these 2 wines the same other than the salt content?

Can I make "drunken chicken" with regular ShaoHsing cooking wine eventhough the recipes call for "Hua Diao" wine?

I am just puzzled over the terminology of Hua Diao wine (紹興花雕酒) versus ShaoHsing cooking wine (紹興酒). Are all ShaoHsing wine basically Hua Diao?


Side note: I had tried those ShaoHsing wine that are selling at US $1.50 a bottle. Save it, people. Don't go cheap on the cooking wine. Those bottles are selling cheap for a reason. Don't cook with any cooking wine that you would not care to drink.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#10 pcbilly

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 09:13 PM

I wanted to experiment with some of the "drunken chicken" recipes, which call for Hua Diao [Mandarin] wine.
Questions:  Is this what the previous posts were talking about?  Adding a little bit of salt and classifying it as cooking wine, they sell it at a much lower price?
Are these 2 wines the same other than the salt content?
Can I make "drunken chicken" with regular ShaoHsing cooking wine eventhough the recipes call for "Hua Diao" wine?
I am just puzzled over the terminology of Hua Diao wine (紹興花雕酒) versus ShaoHsing cooking wine (紹興酒).  Are all ShaoHsing wine basically Hua Diao?

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ShaoHsing is the broader term that describes the yellow wine(黃酒) from ShaoHsing, ZheJiang.
Hua Diao (花雕酒) is a blend of aged premium ShaoHsing (绍兴酒) that has higher content of glutinous rice.
It is analogous to French XO vs. regular brandy.

In that part of China, people used to follow the custom of storing a few urns of good yellow rice wine on the birth of a daughter for her wedding.
This wine is know as Nu Er Hong/Daughter Red (女兒红) and the urns is highly curved and decorated.
Thus the term “花雕” (flower carved).

I will argue that Hua Diao is too good for cooking but I know there are a few recipes call for it.
Your $6.0 ShaoHsing should be good enough for Drunken Chicken; I personally will save the HuaDiao for drinking. :biggrin:

#11 hzrt8w

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 02:07 AM

ShaoHsing is the broader term that describes the yellow wine(黃酒) from ShaoHsing, ZheJiang.

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pcbilly: Thank you for the education on Chinese wine. Quite enlightening.

I have to say that I am not a fan of Hua Diao (花雕) for drinking. For cooking and drunken chicken, they are great.

My favorite Chinese wine for drinking would be:
茅台
玫瑰露
竹葉青
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#12 pcbilly

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 09:22 AM

ShaoHsing is the broader term that describes the yellow wine(黃酒) from ShaoHsing, ZheJiang.

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pcbilly:
I have to say that I am not a fan of Hua Diao (花雕) for drinking. For cooking and drunken chicken, they are great.
My favorite Chinese wine for drinking would be:
茅台
玫瑰露
竹葉青

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I think the key to appreciate Chnese rice wine is drink it warm with food; it doesn’t work well as cold sipping wine.

For the Chinese white liquors: 茅台/Maotai is, of course, everyone’s favor but it can be too fragrant if you drink in lager quantity
For me, 五粮液/WuLianGye with 醬汁牛肉 makes a good combination for sipping in a cold night such as we have in the East Coast of US.
This is the kind of weather the Northern Chinese endure in their winter and why these White Liquors are their drink of choices. :biggrin:

#13 budrichard

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 06:59 AM

[...]There it was, 3 & 5 year old without salt! Imported by JFC International even though the website dosen't list it. -Dick

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budrichard: What price are they selling those ShaoXing wine at? Just curious.

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Price is $5.99/bottle for each plus State and county Liquor taxes or $13.25 for both bottles. The 3 and 5 year old are different sizes hence the same price.

The 'cooking wines' have salt added and are not classified as alcoholic beverages and escape the taxes. They are not suitable for anything and are not what we are talking about. We are discussing chinese wines used for cooking but not 'cooking wine'. $6 for 'cooking wine' sounds high. In ChinaTown 'cooking wine' sells for about $3/bottle.-Dick





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