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China Central Television airs documentary featuring Shaoxing wine

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: December 11, 2020 L M S

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For most Chinese people, Shaoxing is synonymous with yellow rice wine, which locals have been producing since the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). [Photo/WeChat account: sxfabu]

China Central Television channel 4 (CCTV-4, also known as the international channel) aired an episode of Delicacies in China featuring Shaoxing huangjiu (yellow rice wine) at 22:00, Dec 10, and rebroadcasted it at 13:00 on Dec 11.

Delicacies in China is a documentary series presented by CCTV-4 to introduce China's food culture to the world. Shaoxing has been the focus of the series since Oct 14.

Shaoxing is a typical Jiangnan (south bank of the Yangtze) water town in East China's Zhejiang province. Its food is famous throughout China, and is known for its limited use of oil, making the flavor delicate and light.

The main ingredients of Shaoxing food are freshwater fish, shrimp, poultry meat and, bean products. Shaoxing chicken is a specialty and prepared by marinating a tender chicken breast in locally made yellow rice wine, or huangjiu.

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Shaoxing cuisine is sometimes cooked by marinating yellow rice wine. [Photo/WeChat account: sxfabu]

Huangjiu is fermented from glutinous rice and wheat and has an amber hue. Depending on the degree of fermentation and age, the color varies from a very light gold to a deep chocolate brown. It is usually less than 20 percent alcohol by volume.

With a brewing history of more than 2,500 years, huangjiu is believed to be one of the oldest alcoholic drinks in China. The earliest text records of the spirit date back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).

Just as Bordeaux is the wine center of France, Shaoxing is widely regarded as the home of yellow rice wine in China. Huangjiu produced in the city is exported to more than 40 countries and regions, and the brewing technique used was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.