Chinese Rose Wine is a key ingredient in Cantonese roast meats and cured sausages. But what is it, how is it made, and what does it taste like? Let us explain!
What is Chinese Rose Wine (Mei Gui Lu Jiu)?
Chinese Rose Wine (méiguī lùjiǔ, 玫瑰露酒) is a rose-flavored sorghum liquor. The sorghum liquor, or gāoliáng jiǔ (高粱酒) is infused with fresh rose flowers and sugar, and the result is a fragrant liquor that some say tastes like a sweet, floral vodka.
Drinkable versions are generally over 50% alcohol, while varieties for use in cooking are made from rice and can be lower in alcohol––around 18%.
How Is It Used?
Mei gui lu is used to make Cantonese roast meats, cured sausages, and also braised dishes, like our soy sauce chicken, to create a superior, complex flavor.
Generally, we use versions that are lower in alcohol (the kind made from rice) in our recipes.
Buying & Storing
You can find Chinese rose wine near the other cooking wines.
Look for the words “rose wine” on the label. You may also see alternate spellings of the Chinese name, like “mei kwei lu” or “mei kuei lu.”
It costs just a few dollars (about $4 at our local store).
Store in a cool, dry place. No need to refrigerate.
Substitutions for Chinese Rose Wine
You can substitute Shaoxing Wine (which you may already have on hand, because we use it in so many of our recipes), but the dish won’t have quite that complex flavor that rose wine imparts.
Our Favorite Recipes with This Ingredient
If you have further questions about this ingredient, let us know in the comments––we try to answer every single one.