Chinese FoodTraditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Wine

2008年6月7日 0:25:06 sz12 Culture

Chinese wine has a history of more than five thousand years and has developed a unique style. Wine as a special form of culture has a special position in traditional Chinese culture. It has penetrated almost all fields of social life during several thousand years of civilization. It is closely related to social and economic activities. Since the implementation of a wine monopoly by the state during Emperor Wu's reign in the Han Dynasty, the fee collected from vintage trade and the special tax on wine has become one of the main sources of the state’s fiscal revenue.

The revenue from the wine tax is also related to military expenditure and war. It has a direct bearing on the survival or extinction of a country. In some dynasties, wine tax (or the monopoly revenue of wine) is still related to labor service and other forms of levies. The high profits of wine have always been the choicest meat that the state, merchants, the wealthy and common people fight for. The issuance of imperial decrees on wine has also always been related to the change of dynasties, subrogation of emperors and some significant royal activities.

Chinese people reduce the functions of wine to three main categories: to cure diseases, for longevity and for the practice of etiquette. For several thousand years, however, the functions have not been limited to these three categories and at least also include using wine to bring joy, to forget worries and to boost one's courage. At times, people may abandon themselves when drinking and go astray, and wine can be harmful to people's health if they drink too much. There have been quite a few monarchs in history who indulged in wine and induced the disaster of subjugating their nations. 

To put simply, wine is a sign of social civilization. The study of the civilization history of a society must go hand in hand with the cultural history of wine. The rich connotations of Chinese wine culture bring pleasure and enlightenment to people.

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