Vietnam is known for its vibrant culinary traditions. Among its diverse Vietnamese drinks, Vietnamese rice wine stands out as a beloved beverage deeply embedded in the country's history and culture. We will delve into the origins of Vietnamese rice wine, the traditional production methods, popular types of rice wine, and some must-try brands in Vietnam.
1. Origin of Vietnamese rice wine
Vietnamese rice wine has a long history, dating back centuries ago. It is believed to have originated from the agricultural practices of Vietnamese communities. Rice has been not only a staple food but also a vital ingredient in the production of various fermented beverages, including Vietnamese rice wine.
In Vietnamese culture, drinking wine is a way to foster connections, express hospitality, and celebrate special occasions. It is common to share a toast before taking a sip, symbolizing good wishes and camaraderie. Wine is also associated with important cultural rituals and ceremonies, such as ancestor worship and wedding ceremonies. Thus, drinking wine reflects the country's rich cultural heritage and the importance of communal bonds.
>>> Don't forget to try Vietnamese coffee as well!
2. How to make Vietnamese rice wine?
Step 1: Cooking rice
- Soak the rice for 30-40 minutes to soften it and prevent clumping.
- Cook the rice with a water-to-rice ratio of 1:1 until it is tender but not too dry.
Step 2: Mixing the rice with yeast powder
- Let the cooked rice cool down to around 30-32 degrees Celsius.
- Add the yeast powder to the cooled rice. Toss using your hands or a spoon to integrate and combine the yeast with the rice.
Step 3: Fermenting the rice
- Place the rice in an airtight area to begin fermentation.
- Store the rice in a warm place for several days.
Step 4: Distillation
- After fermentation, distill the rice wine to separate the alcohol from impurities or toxins.
Step 5: Filtration
- Filter the distilled alcohol to remove any remaining impurities, enhancing its flavors and characteristics.
3. Two common types of Vietnamese rice wine
3.1. Vietnamese plain rice wine (Ruou de)
- Vietnamese wine made from ordinary rice
Vietnamese rice wine made from regular rice has a low alcohol content. It is a popular choice for casual get-togethers, offering a refreshing way to relax and enjoy the company of friends.
- Vietnamese wine made from sticky rice
Vietnamese sticky rice wine is crafted by fermenting glutinous rice with yeast and water. This cherished traditional beverage is popular in festivals, including weddings and the Lunar New Year. To try this type of Vietnamese rice wine, find "Ruou Trang Gao Nep", "Ruou Nep Cam", and "Ruou Nep Cai Hoa Vang".
3.2. Vietnamese herbal wine (Ruou thuoc)
Vietnamese herbal wine, also known as Ruou thuoc in Vietnamese, is a traditional drink made by infusing medicinal herbs with rice wine. Revered for centuries, this concoction is a natural remedy for various ailments and is believed to have numerous health benefits.
>>> Don’t forget to try another famous drink - Vietnamese tea!
4. TOP 7 famous Vietnamese rice wine brands you must try
- Mau Son Wine
This traditional rice wine is made by the Dao ethnic community on Mau Son Mountain in Lang Son Province. Distilled at high altitudes using spring water and a blend of rare forest leaves, it offers a fragrant aroma, clear texture, and balanced rich taste.
- Van Village Wine
Made from fragrant glutinous rice and rare herbal ingredients, the elegant Van Village Wine is a masterpiece of skilled craftsmanship. Since the 18th century, this prestigious wine has been cherished by connoisseurs and sought after as a special gift for friends or family.
- Kim Son Wine
This is a popular rice wine infused with traditional herbs and distilled using natural water. It is known for its strong alcohol content, clarity, and pleasant aroma. This wine is also believed to have health benefits, representing the cultural heritage of Ninh Binh Province.
- Bau Da Wine
Renowned for its distinct aroma and medicinal properties, Bau Da Wine is a traditional specialty of Binh Dinh Province. Made from water sourced from a natural underground spring in Bau Da Village, this wine provides a soothing and comfortable experience.
- E De Ban Me Tube Wine
E De Ban Me Tube Wine, a cherished tradition of the ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, is essential to festivals. Made by fermenting glutinous rice mixed with traditional herbs, this wine offers a delightful aroma combining sweetness and spiciness.
- Go Den Wine
Go Den Wine is a famous white wine produced in Long An Province using traditional methods. It is made from locally grown glutinous rice varieties and has a high alcohol content. It is a unique and sought-after product for many tourists coming here.
- Phu Le Wine
Phu Le Wine is a favorite local product from Ben Tre Province. It is a strong, fragrant, and enjoyable liquor. The unique flavors of Phu Le Wine come from the high-quality yeast, local groundwater, local rice, and traditional rice fermentation vessels.
Apart from Vietnamese rice wine, it is also recommended to try Vietnamese rice wine desserts, a traditional dessert made from glutinous rice cooked with yeast.
In addition to considering what to eat or drink, be sure to pay attention to where to visit on your Vietnam travel. Among many renowned tourist destinations in Vietnam, you should not miss out on Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long Bay.
To make your stay in these places even more enjoyable, it is recommended to book a room at Vinpearl, a top-notch lodging brand in Vietnam. Vinpearl offers luxurious hotels and resorts, along with a range of top-notch amenities, including swimming pools, restaurants, spas, gyms, private beaches, and many recreational activities. Staying at Vinpearl will surely enhance your Vietnam travel experience and create lasting memories.
Vietnamese rice wine is more than just a beverage; it is a cultural symbol deeply embedded in Vietnamese society. Its production techniques have been passed down through generations, preserving the country's rich heritage. By exploring the origins, production methods, and diverse varieties of Vietnamese rice wine, you can embark on a sensory journey that unveils the allure and delights of this traditional drink.