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Mar 7, 2011 01:23 AM

help with shaoxing wine: "Hua Tiao" vs. "Jia Fan"

It's very hard for me to get to any Asian grocers, and their prices for rice cooking wine can be outrageous (a bottle that would cost $1.89 in the US selling for €8-10 which is $12-15).

Though both Asian cooking and ordering food online are in their infancy here, a more convenient and middle-of-the-road solution cost-wise appears to be ordering online. However, I can only find one supplier, who does not even stock this product retail (they specialize in packaged Thai ingredients) but has said he will special-order me a case.

I can order either "Hua Tiao Chiew" or "Jia Fan Chiew" in bottles, or gallons of "High Grade Shao Hsing" in plastic jugs, from this site, for importation into Italy:

In particular, can anyone help with the difference between Hua Tiao and Jia Fan (also transcribed as Jia Fen)??

One remark I came across said that "Hua Tiao" meant "Withered Flower" (Flower = Hua). Other than that I have not been able to find any more particular information.

Oh, and just to make things more confusing, the "Jia Fan" product has a label that is identical to that of the bottle I already own that's running low. However, my bottle does not say "Jia Fan" anywhere on it; instead it says "Chen Nian Hua Tiao Wine". So what's "Chen Nian", mean?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. "Hua Tiao" sounds like what happens when you have too much Jia Fan.

    1. Chen Nian means "aged" or "vintage" - can mean it's 4 years up to 30 years old.

      Sorry, I'm not familiar with Jia Fan.

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