At least they'll know what to serve it with
January 31, 2005 9:56 PM   Subscribe

China's Latest Innovation: Fish Wine
The French used grapes, Russians fermented potatoes, Koreans put ginseng in their drink and Mexicans distilled cactus plants to make fiery tequila.
Now China has made wine out of fish.
posted by fenriq (43 comments total)

 
Experts said the wine is nutritious and contains low alcohol

Sorry, but I prefer my wine high in alcohol, and made from plants.
posted by spacewrench at 9:58 PM on January 31, 2005


Fucking maniacs.
posted by luckyclone at 10:19 PM on January 31, 2005


I didn't know Abe Vigoda had a wine!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:29 PM on January 31, 2005


I have to say that, after living in China for 2 years and sampling various native spirits, fish seem a fairly decent base. Certainly better than sorghum, the base for the noxious northern baijiu, which tastes like nail polish remover and could probably be used to, e.g., thin paint and exfoliate elephants.
posted by bokane at 10:33 PM on January 31, 2005


I'd try it.
posted by interrobang at 10:36 PM on January 31, 2005


The smell, as with most beverages, will make or break this one on western palates -- mine included.
posted by pmbuko at 10:39 PM on January 31, 2005


maybe it can be distilled into a sort of fish brandy.
posted by dorian at 10:42 PM on January 31, 2005


"China gives 'drink like a fish' new meaning".

How? How does fish wine give that phrase new meaning? I've been up thirty minutes and already my day has been ruined by an idiot.

Wine made from seafood sounds distinctly fishy to me... on a scale of one to ten, that is. I mean -- one would have expected the Finns to have come up with it.
posted by nthdegx at 10:56 PM on January 31, 2005


I've been up thirty minutes and already my day has been ruined by an idiot.

I pity those whose days are ruined by trivialities like this.
posted by pmbuko at 11:09 PM on January 31, 2005


Oh. My. Cod.
posted by Wolof at 11:09 PM on January 31, 2005


How does fish wine give that phrase new meaning?

Drink, like, a fish. Valley girl style.
posted by Tlogmer at 11:13 PM on January 31, 2005


A fish-based drink goes especially well with a white wine. Remember that.

Unless the fish-based drink is made of salmon, in which case it would be a tremendous faux pas not to drink it with a red wine.
posted by interrobang at 11:18 PM on January 31, 2005



I pity those whose days are ruined by trivialities like this.


I was joking! Now my day's ruined.
posted by nthdegx at 11:19 PM on January 31, 2005


This isn't an innovation. This is a college party dare.
posted by monosyllabic at 11:22 PM on January 31, 2005


"I prefer my wine high in alcohol, and made from plants."

That depends on what I'm eating. I've found beer goes better with meals than wine unless I'm trying to sleep; whiskey with a meal will mean I wasted what I spent on food and liquor (and woe to me if it was supposed to be a "special" meal). On the other hand, wine and whiskey are fine before or after a meal.

But I don't think I could get fish wine past my nose. Fish wine sounds right up there with ipecac-laced Aqua Velva. Does that mean I'm not a hopeless alkie yet?

Oh and the Finns already contributed: where do you think vodka came from? Thin, slightly bitter but otherwise tasteless, best enjoyed cold, spending more does not guarantee it'll get any better.... Just like my Finnish ex Tiina from Espoo.
posted by davy at 11:23 PM on January 31, 2005


Fenriq, potatoes didn't hit Russia till the late 18th century, after they caught on Ireland. Originally the Russians used rye, wheat, honey, or bear piss.

And monosyllabic, a college party dare is that foul Jagermeister stuff. That's from a time when (witch-) doctors thought throwing up is GOOD for you.
posted by davy at 11:32 PM on January 31, 2005


No no. Rumplemintz is the clear insta-hurl inducing champion. When done as back-to-back double shots. To top off a night of drinking.

Ok, so insta-hurl is a bit of a misnomer, since it took effect on the Bay Bridge en route to Oakland. So sorry, car behind us.
posted by pmbuko at 11:44 PM on January 31, 2005


Wolof said it best...
posted by AloneOssifer at 11:47 PM on January 31, 2005


based on this alone, i, for one, welcome our sino-un moonbase dwelling overlords. bring me the fish beer!
posted by mwhybark at 11:50 PM on January 31, 2005


Hey don't forget snake wine.
posted by phyrewerx at 11:58 PM on January 31, 2005


A Cambodian friend of mine gave me wine with snakeskin in it and it was pretty good...the whole snake is going to far.

Oh, and I don't think the agave plant is technically a cactus.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:06 AM on February 1, 2005


Goes great with white grapes.
posted by HTuttle at 12:09 AM on February 1, 2005


Ketchup was originally made from fermented fish sauce mixed with tomatos. Fish wine sounds more appetizing than ketchup.
posted by stbalbach at 12:28 AM on February 1, 2005


Fish wine cannot possibly be worse than Laotian snake whiskey (scroll down). Absolutely the worst drink I've ever had.

I believe vodka was invented in Russia, us Finns have only Kossu (basically the same thing but flavored with a tiny bit of sugar, which makes it taste worse than vodka, in my opinion, but I guess that's sort of the point).
posted by ikalliom at 12:42 AM on February 1, 2005


I don't think China is trying to market a successful product here, I think they're trying to get rid of all their drunks. All they need to do is sneak it in to the Chinese convenience stores, next to the listerine, but make a little cheaper. One bottle of fermented fish is probably all it will take to ruin alcohol for anyone, forever.

The smell alone is probably lethal. What kind of genius decides to try to ferment the one thing noted for having an absolutely horrendous odor as it rots?
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:56 AM on February 1, 2005


Hiroyuki Sakai routinely made fish ice-cream on "Iron Chef".
posted by RavinDave at 1:23 AM on February 1, 2005


Certainly better than sorghum, the base for the noxious northern baijiu, which tastes like nail polish remover and could probably be used to, e.g., thin paint and exfoliate elephants.

As baijiu is a distilled drink (at least according to everything I see in Google), this isn't the sorghum's fault, it's the distillers. Those lovely nail polish remover smells come from the fusel oils, alcohols heavier than ethanol. In small amounts they are good for body and taste, in large quantities they are the hallmark of cheap liquor. In order to get the fusel oils out there is more waste, so they leave the nasty stuff in which leads to the awful taste and bad hangovers.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:41 AM on February 1, 2005


Living in China, I found it interesting when I learned what types of odors were considered offensive here. For example, no one notices the smell of urine or the stench of BO on a crowded subway, but put some meat on the grill and everyone runs away holding their breath. This fish wine may smell just fine to Chinese noses.

sneak it in to the Chinese convenience stores, next to the listerine, but make a little cheaper.

If my coworkers' breath is any indication, this may have already been done.
posted by twisted mister at 3:50 AM on February 1, 2005


At least there are plenty of ready-made associated products, like the Caroline Forbis Fish Wine Cooler. But seriously, exactly how do you ferment fish? It's mostly protein, so we're not talking yeast; it'd have to be some kind of strange anaerobic culture that broke protein down to ethanol. Is there such a thing?
posted by raygirvan at 3:56 AM on February 1, 2005


Nam pla, the Vietnamese condiment, is made from fermented anchovies. And to my mind, it's a huge argument against fish wine.
posted by stonerose at 5:03 AM on February 1, 2005


it'd have to be some kind of strange anaerobic culture that broke protein down to ethanol. Is there such a thing?

No, there isn't. They're probably fermenting the fish for the flavor (it will basically turn into fish sauce, complete with the savory umami flavor and not quit as savory smell) and rice or another grain for the alcohol.
posted by TungstenChef at 5:33 AM on February 1, 2005


Agreed. That process breaks the protein down to a salty amino acid mix (see Microflora of Four Fermented Fish Sauces. I do wonder if this is down to a mistranslation, and they're just making fish sauce.
posted by raygirvan at 5:45 AM on February 1, 2005


Thanks for that, phyrewerx - now I'm totally grossed-out. *shudder*
posted by Chunder at 5:47 AM on February 1, 2005


That's just fucked up.
posted by c13 at 5:51 AM on February 1, 2005


Really "good" fish sauce in Thailand (supposedly) doesn't taste like fish at all, so I wouldn't expect fish wine to taste too fishy.

It's only made of rice, but Soju is pretty nasty stuff.

I also like Polinka(sp?), an eastern european drink that is made by throwing rotten fruit(s) into a bucket and letting it sit for months. Yum!

twisted mister you just explained why Chinatown(s) often smell of urine and nobody seems to mind.
posted by shoepal at 7:18 AM on February 1, 2005


The first two links are the same story.

Lame.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:25 AM on February 1, 2005


Ugh...I think I'll pass.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:32 AM on February 1, 2005


Now I know which wine to have with my dog stew.

The smell alone is probably lethal. What kind of genius decides to try to ferment the one thing noted for having an absolutely horrendous odor as it rots?

Limburger Cheese Wine?
Unwashed Gym Clothes Wine?
Paper Plant Pulp byProducts Wine?
Bloated Corpse Found in the Trunk of a Car Sitting in the Sun for Days Wine?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:33 AM on February 1, 2005


tent caterpillar wine.
posted by u.n. owen at 7:37 AM on February 1, 2005


Bloated Corpse Found in the Trunk of a Car Sitting in the Sun for Days Wine?

My favorite! *downs a glass*
posted by squidlarkin at 8:34 AM on February 1, 2005


Bloated Corpse Found in the Trunk of a Car Sitting in the Sun for Days Wine?

Is that the wine that eats like a meal?

Snake wine sounds disgusting but so does dandelion wine and they make that too.

Frasermoo, its called a back up link.
posted by fenriq at 9:30 AM on February 1, 2005


Well I'm not one to carp about some plaice serving this just for the halibut, but I wouldn't accept a glass from a friend or anemone!
posted by Mike D at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2005


Copycats. Dan Akroyd invented it decades ago.
posted by chundo at 10:59 AM on February 1, 2005


« Older Web design guru versus the telemarketers:...  |  breaking CAPTCHAs.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments