Pagoda Benjiu is one of Shaoxing’s top rice wine. It is over 10 years old and 16% in alcohol. The volume of the bottle is 1 litre. Perfume of almonds, white flowers, a hint of vanilla and honey. The elegant, subtle, complex flavours are very persistent. Both the colour and palate profile remind very much of sherry. Amontillado or Oloroso, you decide. The delicate sweetness makes it an outstanding pairing with many different types of dishes including fish, seafood, dried shrimps, salted fish, pickles, spicy dishes and sweet and sour ones too. It’s also absolutely delicious on its own. Enjoy between cool and cold. Best in a wine glass. Pagoda is Shaoxing’s most respected and largest rice wine brand and located in Xing He Qiao. The back of the winery sits next to the bank of Lake Jian or Jianhu (just as a whisky distillery would be situated next to a source of water). The pristine clear water of this natural lake goes into every bottle of Pagoda rice wine. Annual production is about 5 million litres. Pagoda was the first Shaoxing wine to be exported in the 1950s. Around 15% of its production travels oversea, including to Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Europe and North America.