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Bliss Life

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Wild Wine with a bite! Snake Wine!

Sep 29, 2012 11:09AM


Written by Leslie McCarroll

Rose, Shiraz, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Grigio , Cabernet, ZIN, and Snake Wine!

Our Wild, Women and Wine Issue wouldn’t be complete without this unique wine from Asia.

Snake Wine is not for the faint of heart! Originally produced and consumed in China during the Western Zhou Dynasty, Snake Wine is believed to have curative and invigorating properties, according to traditional Chinese Medicine. Why drink this unique concoction, you ask? Well it’s also believed to cure other health issues, such as farsightedness, hair loss while increasing sexual performance. What about just sticking to good ol’ proper nutrition and exercise? Viagra?

The snake venom or the "essence" is dissolved in the liquor. But no need to rush to the ER; the venom is denatured by the alcohol, leaving it supposedly harmless.  The liquor in which the snakes are fermented is usually rice wine or grain alcohol. Snakes are not the only things used in this type of wine. Lizards, sea horses and scorpions are also used. Some consumers of this wine finish off with eating the eyeballs, gallbladder and stomach as well as the blood, calling this “Snake Blood Wine.” Have you lost your appetite yet, or do you want a glass or two?

C’mon belly up to the bar! Even if you want to try this unusual wine you’ll have to have your passport handy and hop on a plane to China, Vietnam or Southeast Asia because you won’t find it in the U.S. It’s actually illegal to import snake wine due to the type of snakes (cobras) used in the wine. Cobras are on the endangered species list regulated by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Good thing, especially if you’re an animal lover! We don’t know about you but we’ll stick with our Napa favorites!

So, choose your poison red or white or maybe one that has a bite!