Chinese Wine Culture
Wine culture is the collective term of material culture and spiritual culture generated during the production, sales and consumption of wine. Wine culture includes such cultural phenomenon as winemaking methods, tasting methods, functions and history. With both the material features of wine and the spiritual connotation generated in wine tasting, wine culture is a special cultural form formed in the process of winemaking and drinking. Wine culture is of long standing in China. Many literators and scholars composed works of tasting and appreciating vintage, and left such as stories as drinking, poetic composition, drawing, health preserving, banquet and farewell dinner. Wine, as a special cultural carrier, has a unique position in interpersonal interaction. Wine culture has penetrated almost all fields of social life of human beings, and has great influences on all aspects of literature, arts, medical treatment, health, industrial and agricultural production, politics and economics.
China is a worldwide famous country with ancient civilization as well as the hometown of wine. During the history about 5000 years of the Chinese nation, wine and wine culture has always been playing an important role. As a special food, wine is physical. However, wine is also blended with the spiritual life of people. Wine culture, as a special form of culture, has a special position in traditional Chinese culture and derived the system of wine.
Wine has penetrated almost all fields of social life during several thousand years of civilization. China is a country depending on agriculture, so agricultural development is the foothold for all political and economic activities. Most Chinese wine is brewed from foodstuffs. Wine closely depends on agriculture and becomes a part of agricultural economics. The good and poor harvest of foodstuffs production was the barometer of the prosperity and decline of wine industry. The rulers of each dynasty, considering the harvest of foodstuffs, regulated the wine production by prohibition of wine production or prohibition rescinding, so as to ensure the foodstuff provision for people.
The Chinese ancients reduced the functions of wine to three main categories: for curing diseases, for longevity and for the practice of etiquette. The Chinese’s hospitality is fully expressed at feasts. People exchange their feelings while toasting. While drinking, the Chinese like urging others to drink more in order to express the host’s honesty and friendship. The more the guest drinks, the more cheerful the host feels.