Wine in Chinese Culture

The earliest wine in the history of China was the millet wine in more than 3,000 years ago; afterward, liquor appeared about 1,000 years ago.


Later, wine became an important part of national sacrifice ceremonies in ancient Chinese culture.


In old times, governments tried to limit the production of wine, because it was wasted of money and foodstuff.


However, the wine still developed, both in types and making techniques.


Gradually, the wine was not only served as a royal drink; it spread to civilians' dining tables, as well as being used to cure disease or relieve pain.


About 1,800 years ago, the limitation of wine production was finally removed, and the wine culture has become more abundant since then. 

Nowadays, wine is in regard to important ceremonies, to cure diseases, to celebrate happiness, to forget sadness, and to boost courage. 

Wine Culture in Tradition of China

In Chinese culture, drinking wine has many different etiquettes and requirements, such as environment, wineglass, quantity, type, time, people, and way of drinking. 


Generally, people drink wine with good friends, people with noble morals, and loved ones.



Wine should be appreciated in beautiful and elegant places.


Spring in a pavilion, summer in the countryside, autumns on a boat, winter inside the house, or nighttime under the moon.  



People may play something like forfeit or finger-guess games, or have intelligent or close conversations while drinking. 



It's not good to drink wine with bad emotions; too sad, angry, or physically uncomfortable are all unwise time to drink.


It is believed unhealthy for people. 

Chinese Wine Etiquettes  

Today, wine is still an important part of nearly all the festivals or activities in China, and also an essential way to socialize. 

Table Manner of Drinking in Tradition of China

Generally speaking, the seating position is not as strict as it was in ancient China, but if there are older people, leaders, or very important guests, people still follow the Seat Rules.


People need to pour for elders, leaders, or important guests when their cups are nearly empty, and to refill for themselves last.

Toasting Etiquette in Chinese Culture

When toasting to others, people usually put their cups a little bit lower than others, unless they are older or a leader. 


Many people could toast to one person, but a person does not usually toast to many at once, except for the oldest or the most important guest.


Toasting Order is important as well.


  • Firstly, the host would toast to elders, as well as to leaders, or to the most special guest; and then followed by other guests.


  • Afterward, others could start toasting to each other. If there is no one especially important, then the toast proceeds clockwise.


In Chinese culture, it is suggested that someone always says something nice while toasting, and always uses two hands to hold the wineglass.


If an elder or important guest or leader toasts you, you should stand up and say thank you. 

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