Vino: Rice Wine from Laos!

On a recent trip to Laos, I discovered these bootleg brewers in a small village along the Mekong River. This particular part of the Mekong was lined with sustenance farms as far as the eye could see; greens, corn, tomatoes, herbs and, of course, rice!

Wine generally refers to fermented grape juice; however, any agricultural product with both sugar and yeast can ferment to produce alcohol. With rice it is easy; natural enzymes and acids convert the starches into sugar simultaneously with fermentation, this is called the amylolytic process.

See below the jump for more pictures:

Rice Wine is made throughout Southeast Asia; often this low alcohol wine is distilled to produce Rice Whiskey.

For the benefit of tourists, these bottles of Rice Whiskey are often “decorated” with local critters.