Although there are a lot of beers that have been heard of abroad, Vietnamese wine is not really something that anyone has heard of. However, there is quite a large wine industry in Vietnam in the Dalat area, with wines being exported daily.
In addition, there is a huge industry for rice wine – something totally different and a unique experience that should not be missed.
This article outlines the main types of Vietnamese wines available, along with typical prices and where you can purchase these delights
Different Types of Vietnamese Wines
Rượu Nếp (Sticky Rice Wine)
Price Range: 50,000 VND to 150,000 VND per bottle.
This wine- Rượu Nếp is made by fermenting glutinous rice and has quite a sweet taste. It is drunk using shot glasses instead of wine glasses and can be drunk quickly (like a shot) or sipped.
Surprisingly, there are a number of beneficial aspects to drinking this wine (of course when taken in moderation!) – these include improving digestion, boosting circulation as well as containing antioxidants which strengthen the immune system and are said to have anti-aging properties!
It is usually found at celebrations and comes in a range of sizes (as it is cheap).
Rượu Nếp (Sticky Rice Wine) is a common type of Vietnamese wine
Rượu Gạo (Rice Wine)
Price Range: 30,000 VND to 100,000 VND per bottle.
This is a cheaper version of the sticky rice wine (Rượu Nếp) and is used both for cooking and celebrations,
Unlike the sticky rice wine, the rice wine comes in various types and flavors, although like the sticky rice wine this wine has a huge amount of potential health benefits!
Rice wine is said to have a lot of beneficial properties
Price Range: 100,000 VND to 300,000 VND per bottle.
Dalat is located in the Central Highlands and has very inclement weather – which is excellent for wine growing. As a result, Dalat has a huge amount of vineyards and is a prominent wine-producing region which is in fact imported to other countries. Dalat wines are available in red and white. There are two main varieties – the local (cheaper version) and the imported standard (which costs more).
Dalat Wine are available in red and white
Price range: 80.000 VND to 120,000 VND per bottle.
Although named Saigon, this wine is available throughout the country. It is available in both red and white varieties and is a popular standard wine.
Saigon Classic comes in red and white varieties
Price range: 60,000 – 120,000 VND per bottle
This is perhaps the cheapest fruit-based wine in Vietnam (as opposed to rice-based) – it is very sweet and is made from a combination of fruits (which ones it doesn’t actually state!) Despite the brown colour of the wine, it tastes rather nice and is certainly worth trying – although it is not available as widely as the more popular ones such as Dalat, etc.
There is also a sparkling version available – again at a very reasonable price.
Don’t be put off by the brown colour of Thang Long wine – the taste is great!
Specialty wines in Vietnam
These are as the name suggests – wine with a snake (or scorpion – or both) The base is rice and a snake is put inside (a complete species) so that it can be clearly seen. Snake wine is believed to be very good for you and is generally used as a tonic. This can be purchased in any tourist shop.
Can wine (Rượu cần)
This type of wine comes from the tribal areas and there it is drunk by putting a straw into the bottle and sipping. You can buy versions of this wine – which are beautifully presented in small pots – which can be kept as a decoration after you have finished the contents.
The clay pot that the can wine comes in is very decorative and can be used after finishing the contents
Where to Find Vietnamese Wines
Wine is freely available in Vietnam and is very easy to purchase.
Small convenience shops – for example. Circle K – will have wine behind the counter and although there is a limited selection it is enough.
Supermarkets – all supermarkets will have wine. The larger the shop the larger the selection will be. Many shops stock a huge amount of imported wine and then just a small selection of Vietnamese wine.
Specialty Wine Shops – the largest specialty wine shop chain is “ Red Apron “ which has a large selection of wine from around the world – including Vietnam. Prices are typically a little more expensive as this is a specialty shop.
Online – there are a huge number of online wine retailers – simply Google and press the shopping option to find wine suppliers locally which offer home delivery.
Red Apron is the largest wine shop chain in Vietnam
Although Vietnam’s wine scene is not comparable to the greats of the world, there is still a decent range – with very reasonable prices. It is worth experimenting to see which of the local wines are to your taste and even if you don’t like them you can add Vietnamese wines to your repertoire of more unusual wines!