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Nverjiu, or 'Daughter's Wine'

2020-03-19

Of the varieties of Shaoxing yellow-Rice Wine, the most famous is no doubt nverhong(daughter's red) and zhuangyuanhong (zhuangyuan's red). Nverhong, of course, is brewed shortly after a girl is born, and then kept in a dry cellar or buried underground.In some rarer cases, it may be hidden inside walls. When the girl grows up and is about to get married, the wine is dug out for the banquet or as a dowry. Later this custom has evolved in such a way that wine is made when a boy is born too. Wine jars used to hold the liquid is smeared with red paint and decorated with colorful paintings, and the wine is named zhuangyuan's red', embodying the hope that the son may become a talented person. When the `daughter's red' is made, special attention is paid to the decoration of jars. Before these jars are fired, they are already decorated with embossed flowers or figures. After they are hardened in a kiln, painters are asked to ornament them with colorful paintings representing subjects from folk legends or operas such as landscape, birds and beasts, the God of Longevity with cranes, Chang`e flying to the moon, the Eight Immortals crossing the sea, and the dragon and the phoenix bringing auspiciousness. Above the paintings there are such goodwill words for the newly-weds like Wish you a happy union', 'May your family prosper in the five generations to come', 'May spend your life happily together', and May all your heart's wishes be fulfilled.' These are Huadiao jars adopted for nverhong. As the modern wine industry continues to develop, this custom involving home-made has gradually been going out vogue. However, the names nverhong and zhuangyuanhong have been preserved and used as famous trademarks or brands, which have won people's love.

Next: Wine at Birthday Banquets

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