山楂酒

January 9th, 2008

Alright, don’t ask why, but… I’m drinking haw wine.

See, there’s a little convenience store just up the road and they’ve had two kinds of fruit wine on their shelves for a while now, both made by 丰收, although I can’t remember what the other fruit wine was, but anyway, living in China has given me a little bit of a thing for haws, and so today I decided I’d try this haw wine.

Anyway, the label says it’s 14% ethanol by volume, roughly the same as regular wine. It also says, and I quote:

Harvest Haw Ratafee [presumably this means the wine the bottle contains] presents a jacinth color, clear and limpid, rich haw fruit aromas and preserved spirit flavor, mellow and plump in palate, sour taste balanced well with sweetness, expressive and marvellous aftertaste.

Clearly they’ve been taking lessons from some Western pretentious git oenophile. I won’t take credit for the American spellings- that is precisely the spelling used on the bottle, I am only quoting. Nor will I vouch for the “jacinth color”, for the simple reason that I have no idea what colour “jacinth” is. And I have no idea what “preserved spirit flavor” is supposed to mean. I will, however, vouch for the “rich haw fruit aromas” and the balancing of the sour taste with sweetness. Actually, just ignore all the bullshit on the label and drink the stuff: It’s actually pretty good. I would go so far as to add a warning: It’s deceptively drinkable. It tastes and feels too much like a good fruit juice and not enough like a wine at all. I will also say that unlike far too much Chinese booze, it tastes and feels clean. None of that formaldehyde flavour you get in Yanjing beer or the skankiness you feel in Dynasty wine.

Actually, I’m really starting to like that little convenience store, and, if the good luck I’ve experienced so far continues, I might just start trusting their small selection of vodka… I’ve held off so far, and only bought Western spirits from the nearest Carrefour (although a colleague raves about a place that is slightly closer and that has far less of the rubbish one has to wade through at the big chains- must go check it out, now that I am more or less on holiday).

Anyway, I recommend Fengshou/丰收’s Haw Wine (山楂酒). Good stuff. Just be warned: It’s a little too drinkable.

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