Sapa is a well-known tourist destination in northwestern Vietnam. Taking Sapa tours not only gives you a chance to relax in the cool atmosphere and contemplate the strikingly beautiful mountainous landscapes but also enjoy the taste of some famous highland dishes. If you visit Pho Village, you should try enjoying Bac Ha corn wine, a specialty wine of Mong and Dao people in Sapa. Now, let’s discover some interesting facts about this special wine!
1/ Raw materials preparation
To create the best corn wine to be branded as the genuine Bac Ha corn wine, the preparation of raw materials is very important. It is one of the main determinants deciding whether the taste of wine is good or bad.
The corn used to make Bac Ha corn wine is not a popular kind commonly grown in the fields on the high hills or valleys. Instead, it has to be the special corn grown on the remote rocky mountains in Lung Phinh Commune, Bac Ha District. This is a purebred yellow corn variety with the growth time up to six months which is suitable for upland climatic conditions. The roots of this kind of corn are clinging to the rocks. Its leaf not only absorbs water but also receives mist from the cool environment. Therefore, the corn seeds are extremely round, firm, soft, sweet, tasty and richly nutrient in the bright yellow color. Besides, it also has a distinctive aroma unlike other kinds of corn. After harvesting corn, local people will dry it for long-term preservation in order to make wine.
Beside Lung Phinh corn, the other factor contributing to the special flavor of Bac Ha corn wine is the yeast of a tree named “hồng mi”. The brewers making Bac Ha corn wine usually use its seeds to grind into a fine powder. Then, they mix it with boiling water, knead this into the small pills and dry them. When having been dried yet, this yeast will turn into the white color.
2/ Bac Ha corn wine processing
The processing of making Bac Ha corn wine is quite elaborate. Accordingly, it consists of these following main steps. First, the seed is separated from the corn and cleaned carefully. Then, people put it in a large saucepan to boil it. When it is completely bursted, they will pick it out and cool it down. Next, they will mix these corn seeds with hồng mi yeast in a certain proportion and then cover this mixture for 5 to 7 days. Finally, they will make corn wine from this fermented mixture.
In particular, distilling corn wine is the most important step in the processing of making Bac Ha corn wine. To be specific, it has to be cooked by firewood and the cookers must always keep the minimum level of fire. During the distillation, water must be supplied sufficiently so that the corn wine will not be burnt.
3/ The unique taste of Bac Ha corn wine
Bac Ha corn wine is not opaque but it has the clear color like water. It owns a very characteristic aroma of Lung Phinh corn. When you drink, you will clearly feel the bite at your tongue. Drinking too much Bac Ha corn wine can make you drunk but it does not cause headaches, dizziness or nausea. If using an adequate amount of corn wine, you will be much healthier because it is used to stimulate the activity of the neural system, enhance blood circulation and stimulate gastrointestinal activity.
At present, there are a lot of Sapa tours having the service to help tourists experience in some households making corn wine in Bac Ha. With these tours, you can directly see how people make corn wine and enjoy this special wind of Sapa.