Chinese Wine & Wine Culture

Connotation of Wine Culture

With extensive contents, the wine culture not only includes the material and social contents, such as knowledge of brewing history, industry history and drinking vessels associated with wine; measures and development of the management, restriction and taxes of the social organizations on wine, but also nearly reaches an all-inclusive level, which refers to the physiological and psychological reaction even the social effect due to the wine’s effect. Therefore, there is all wine culture in all human science and part of experimental science.

The culture not only exists on the paper, but also implies in the daily living climate frequently and widely, so as the wine culture. The drinkers and the people attending the feast don’t appear as the undertaker of the wine culture, however, the traditional feast custom, the conventional drinking mode, and even all kinds of behavior mentality relevant to wine all express the unique Chinese culture implicitly or explicitly. Some can be found the origin through traces, and some has been the spiritual deposit such as the collective unconsciousness, which is only aware of by those know well about the Chinese wine culture. These contents of the wine culture in the daily life and habits integrate with each system of the Chinese culture, circuitously leading to the connotation of the Chinese national spirit with the Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist thoughts as the backbone. In this sense, the wine culture is not only a branch of the Chinese culture but also an important angle to know the Chinese culture on the whole.

“Li Bai composed hundreds of poems when drinking, and slept in the wineshop in Chang’an. Even though the emperor called him, he didn’t go with the wine immortal named by himself.” ( Du Fu, Eight Immortal Drinkers). “When I get drunk, I am here like a guest. After completing the poem, I feel conscious.” (Du Fu, Drinking Alone to Compose Poem) “People all have ambitions and with wine the poems are composed naturally.” (Su Shi, With ‘Drinking’ of Tao Yuanming) “The poem has been completed before the glass of wine is drunk, which also surprises the heaven.” (Yang Wanli, Drinking in the Moonlight in Wanhuachuan Valley Two Months after the Double Ninth Festival) Zhang Yuannian, a political poet of the Southern Song Dynasty, said, “Petals faded on the ground after the rain, I became free in the inebriation.” Such examples are all around for the famous poem composed in the inebriation.

Not only the poem is composed like this, so are the painters in the painting, art and calligraphy. The saint of painter Wu Daozi, with the character of “strips in Wu’s work being blown in wind”, painted after drunk and completed instantly. Huang Gongwang, one of the “Four Great Painters of the Yuan Dynasty”, couldn’t paint unless drunk. The “Sage of Calligraphy” Wang Xizhi wrote the Lan Ting Ji Xu when he was drunk, which was “combining softness and power and unique in the dynasties”, after he was conscious, he “amended for tens of books, but couldn’t be compared with it”. Li Po wrote the drunken bonze Huai Su, “When my teacher got drunk, he could write thousands pieces of paper at once, which was so marvelous.” Huai Su splashed the ink after ebriety, and then the marvelous Zi Xu Tie was composed. The Sage of Cursive Script Zhang Xu often drunk and shouted and then wrote, hence the Four Poem Calligraphy Copybook was composed with the writing like clouds and mist.


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