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Yellow Wine

This distinctly flavoured traditional Chinese wine is made from fermented rice.

TravelCurious Tip

Different regions have different specialities of huangjiu, so depending on where you are ask our guide and they will be able to point you towards the right vintage.

Yellow wine, known in Chinese as huangjiu, is a traditional Chinese beverage made from water, a cereal grain like rice, and a jiuqu starter culture, a mixture of molds, yeasts and bacteria that can kickstart the fermentation process. Huangjiu is not distilled and so contains less than 20% alcohol because at that concentration the ethanol actually inhibits further fermentation.


Huangjiu literally translates as yellow wine, but in its various styles it can range from almost clear to beige or reddish brown. Most, however, are recognisably yellow, and it is sometimes even drunk warm. But depending on the style, some producers age their huangjiu for as long as twenty years before selling it on.


Yellow wines are classified by several factors, including dryness/sweetness, the started used in production and the production method. The sweetness is, no surprise, dictated by the sugar content, and the starter depends on which rice is used and which species they are cultured with.


Production methods can vary quite dramatically: some heat the rice, some cool it, some shovel in a constant stream of rice and others fortify the brew by adding distilled Chinese wines to halt the fermentation process while there are still lots of unfermented sugars, making for an especially sweet wine.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Xiao long bao
A type of steamed bun stuffed with meat and cooked in a bamboo steaming basket.
Xie ke huang
A pastry shaped like a crab shell. It is a speciality in the region and comes with a variety of fillings.
Chang shou mian
Handmade wheat noodles that have become a staple chinese food.
Stir fried bull frog
Ramp up the adventure with this popular local dish cooked in green peppers.
Deep fried Wonton
Delicious pork dumplings deep-fried and served with vinegar.
Xinjiang Stone Oven Naan
From the Xinjiang province, this traditional bread is made in a stone oven.

Related Tours

Private Food Tour of Shanghai
Discover an array of fantastic tastes and flavours in Shanghai’s buzzing food scene in a truly scrumptious journey around the city’s mouth-watering culinary map.

  • Sample a selection of dumplings  - Xiao long bao and Sheng jian bao
  • Try stir-fried bullfrog - Shanghai's four-legged answer to the buffalo wing. 
  • Taste the regional specialty: Xie ke huang (yellow crab)
  • Try delicious handmade Shanghai wheat noodles 
  • Savour a selection of desserts for a finale - washed down with huangjiu (yellow wine) 
Food is powerful, enhancing the intensity of the memories we build. It introduces cultures, defines memories and provides a window on a new destination. Tasting the food of a city provides a fascinating insight into its ethnic diversity, history, character and gastronomic trends. In Shanghai, food is at the heart of everything as an integral part of its identity for 3,000 years. Many of the city’s most beloved traditional dishes trace the city’s storied history. Your Private Shanghai Food Tour takes you on a culinary voyage around authentic Shanghainese flavours: a delicious journey through a rich and evolving food scene and influenced by the East China Sea. 

Shanghai’s most iconic dishes like braised eggplant, soft grilled oysters, juicy scallops, delicate mandarin fish, famous xiao long bao soup dumplings, hairy crab nian gao and Di Shui Dong ribs that fall off the bone are all celebrated on the Private Shanghai Food Tour. Learn the secret ingredients behind the most popular recipes and hear the fascinating backstories to exciting taste combinations. A ready supply of Western ingredients have yet to infiltrate Shanghai’s most popular dishes. Our sensory taste-led experience involves plenty of interaction with Shanghainese ingredients and fresh produce. Visit buzzing kitchens, bustling food markets and taste speciality dishes such as Xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings), Sheng jian bao (pan-fried dumplings), stir-fried bullfrog, Xie ke huang (crab-stuffed pastry), Chang shou mian (wheat noodles), deep-fried wonton and bread cooked in the Xinjiang stone accompanied by a glass of traditional yellow wine. Your gastronomic journey will come to an oh-so-sweet end with a sample range of Shanghainese desserts recommended by your expert guide. The Private Shanghai Food Tour is an authentic immersion in the character and history of Shanghai’s exquisite food so be sure to arrive hungry!
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