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A comparison of drinking in American and Vietnamese culture

INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Globalization brings us together. With globalization in the world today,
we are coming together. We care more about other countries more than we used
to.
Each country has different cultural activities and cultural rituals. Culture
is more than just material goods, that is things the culture uses and produces.
Many of us today are not aware of other cultures. Making time to know them
and understand them would probably make us more accepting of other people
and cultures that are different from us. Just because our ways are different from
others does not mean that what they believe in is wrong or inhumane. It is all
about respect for others. Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of
people, defined by everything from language, religion, social habits, music arts
and cuisine. And drinking is also a culture; it has never occupied a special place
in human culture.
Wine is a very commonly drink at social events and many cultures have
created intricate formal ceremonies for these events. Like many people in other
countries, American and Vietnamese also drink wine in their own ways. In
Vietnam, wine is commonly and people drink it at many occasions: at meetings,
meals, at the weddings and funerals. In American, it is drunk not only on
occasions but also with or after meals or before they go to bed.

Although both Vietnam and American are not the most famous for
drinking, drinking culture in these countries has characteristics which become
the features of culture in each country.
Drinking in American culture and Vietnamese culture may have some
similarities and differences about the history, the ways people drink types of
wine and so on. More importantly, not many people know exactly about these
similarities and differences.

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Therefore, drinking is interesting topic to research and study. Drinking
culture in America and Vietnam contrasting and comparison can be a good topic
to study about. For these reasons, the researcher would like to research a study
titled “A comparison of drinking in American and Vietnamese culture”.
The researcher hopes that this research would be a helpful material not only for
students at Hung Vuong University but also for all the other students around the
country.
2. Research Purpose
The purpose of this study is to find out the similarities and differences of
drinking culture in America and Vietnam. It aims at:
- Studying the literature, different terms relating to drinking.
- Studying the features of drinking in American culture.
- Studying the features of drinking in Vietnamese culture.
- Finding out the similarities and differences of drinking in American and
Vietnamese culture.
3. Research Questions
The study aims at finding the answers for the following questions:
- What are the features of drinking in American culture?
- What are the features of drinking in Vietnamese culture?
- What are the similarities and differences of drinking in American and
Vietnamese culture?
4. Hypothesis
The similarities and differences of drinking in American and Vietnamese
culture will be analyzed.
5. Research methods
- Theoretical study method:
The related documents are examined to get the information related to the
research from different source about drinking culture in America and Vietnam.
- Analysis method:


From the data got from many different sources, the researcher makes an
analysis to get final results.
- Comparison and contrast method:

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The researcher makes a comparison and contrast between drinking culture
in America and Vietnam in aspects of their history, types of wine and drinking
style in America and Vietnam.
6. Significance of the research
This research is particularly important for the researcher, it will not only
help researcher expand their knowledge, understanding society, but also an
indispensable condition for graduating. Moreover, the study would help English
language students understand more about cross – cultural comparison. In
addition, this study aims to help people understand more the similarities and
differences between drinking culture in America and Vietnam. It also provides
information about the history as well as significance of drinking culture in
America and Vietnam. The ways people in America and Vietnam drink wine.
7. Scope of the research
The study researches the culture value in drinking culture in America and
Vietnam. It gives not only the similarities and differences in drinking culture but
also the benefit of drinking on our health. Besides, the study mentions the
history of drinking, the drinking style and the most popular kinds of wine in
America and Vietnam.
8. Outline of the Research
In addition to the Introduction and Conclusion, the study consists of 3
chapters:
Chapter 1: Literature review
The chapter focuses on giving background of drinking culture as history,
health benefits of drinking and social and cultural aspects of drinking culture in
America and Vietnam.
Chapter 2: : Drinking in American and Vietnamese culture
The target of the chapter is to analyze the characteristics of types of
popular wine is drunk, how to enjoy wine and drinking in social ritual in
America and Vietnam.
Chapter 3: Similarities and Differences of drinking in American and
Vietnamese culture
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The target of the chapter is similarities and differences of drinking in
American and Vietnamese culture. It would help English language students
understand more about cross – cultural comparison.

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Chapter 1
LITERATURE REVIEW
In this chapter, section 1.1 is an introduction about the background of drinking
culture. In Section 1.2, the researcher will display a brief summary about the
history of drinking. Section 1.3 is about benefits of drinking. Section 1.4 is
drinking throughout in the world. Section 1.5 will give some information about
previous of research.
1.1. Drinking culture
1.1.1. Definition of culture
Culture is a very broad concept. It is very difficult to give it a precise and
accurate definition. Since the beginning of the 20th century, many philosophers,
sociologists, anthropologists, historians and linguists have been working to try
hard to discipline from their point of view to define the concept of culture.
However, there is still no satisfactory definition that is accepted by people.
According to statistics, there are at least more than 200 kinds of different
definitions. The understanding of culture differs so much that it is enough to
explain that the definition of culture concept is really difficult.
Damen (1987, p. 367) defined culture as "Culture: learned and shared
human patterns or models for living; day- to-day living patterns. these patterns
and models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. Culture is
mankind's primary adaptive mechanism"
In Kluckhohn is opinion (1945, p. 78-105), “By culture we mean all those
historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational,
and nonrational, which exist at any given time as potential guides for the
behavior of men."
Kroeber, (1952, p.47) reckoned that "Culture consists of patterns, explicit
and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols,
constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their
embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e.
historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values;
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culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, and
on the other as conditioning elements of further action."
Lederach (1995) also defined "Culture is the shared knowledge and
schemes created by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and
responding to the social realities around them" .
Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the
symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies. The essence of
a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the
members of the group interpret, use, and perceive them. It is the values,
symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one people from
another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible
aspects of human societies. People within a culture usually interpret the
meaning of symbols, artifacts, and behaviors in the same or in similar ways.
Broadly speaking, Culture refers to the combined material and spiritual
wealth created by human in the process of social and historical development. It
includes three aspects: material culture, system culture and psychological
culture. Material culture refers to all kinds of material civilization created by
mankind, including transportation, clothing, daily necessities, etc. It is a visible
dominant culture. System culture and psychological culture respectively refer to
the living system, family system, social system and way of thinking, religion as
well as aesthetics. They belong to invisible and hidden culture, including
literature, philosophy, political and other aspects. The narrow sense of culture
refers to popular social habits, such as daily life, customs, lifestyles and
behavior norms.
1.1.2. Definition of drinking culture
Wine and beer is the popular name of the alcoholic beverages.
Worldwide, the numbers of wine and beer categories are abundant; they are
marked by the culture of the different ethnic groups. We can estimate the types
of wine and beer in the world now up to thousands, no exact statistics. The word
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beer, wine covers most meaningful for alcoholic beverages. Drinking means
drinking alcoholic beverages, however in this study the researchers do not
analysis deeply all types of alcoholic beverages that only focuses research on
wine, “drinking” means drinking kinds of wine and not drink any other
alcoholic.
Folk have a saying "Đán nhật thanh tâm trà ngũ trảm, ngọ thời thích chí
tửu tam bôi ", meaning that drinking five cups of tea morning show heart
peacefully, afternoon drinking three cups of wine feel very well.
According to Trần Quốc Vượng (2006) drinking is the beauty of incultural communication, is an important part of the cuisine, specially, in the
spiritual culture of the Vietnamese people. Mentioned culturally humane portion
of drinking to prettify its existence thousands of years ago, the spiritual culture
is also the most basic of drinking, a beauty "fine traditions and customs”.
According to David G. Mandelbaum (1965) “The meanings of drinking,
its relation to other aspects of the culture and society, are usually more implicit.
Thus drinking in a particular society may be either a sacred or a profane act,
depending on the context, and the people may not be aware of the basic
principles and meanings that is actually involved”.
Drinking culture refers to the customs and practices associated with the
consumption of wine. Although wine and social attitudes toward drinking vary
around the world.
Ho Bat Khuat, (2011) defined that, “Dinking culture is right and nice, we
also need human intelligence, especially knowledge and awareness. Be aware
that alcohol also requires culture. Which culture is a not acceptable excess”.
1.2. The history of drinking
1.2.1. The history of drinking in the world
Exactly where wine was first made is still unclear. It could have been
anywhere in the vast region, stretching from Spain to Central Asia, where wild
grapes grow. However, the first large-scale production of wine must have been
in the region where grapes were first domesticated, Southern Caucasus and the
Near East. Wild grapes grow in Georgia, northern Levant, coastal and
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southeastern Turkey, northern Iran or Armenia. None of these areas can be
definitively singled out yet, despite persistent suggestions that Georgia is the
birthplace of wine.
In Ancient Egypt, wine played an important role in ceremonial life. A
thriving royal winemaking industry was established in the Nile Delta following
the introduction of grape cultivation from the Levant to Egypt c. 3000 BC. The
industry was most likely the result of trade between Egypt and Canaan during
the Early Bronze Age, commencing from at least the Third Dynasty (2650 –
2575 BC), the beginning of the Old Kingdom period (2650 – 2152 BC).
Winemaking scenes on tomb walls, and the offering lists that accompanied
them, included wine that was definitely produced at the deltaic vineyards. By
the end of the Old Kingdom, five wines, all probably produced in the Delta,
constitute a canonical set of provisions, or fixed "menu," for the afterlife. The
advent of wine in Europe was the work of the Greeks who spread the art of
grape-growing and winemaking in Ancient Greek and Roman times.
Wine in ancient Egypt was predominantly red. A recent discovery, however, has
revealed the first ever evidence of white wine in ancient Egypt. Residue from
five clay amphorae from Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb yielded traces of white
wine.
Much modern wine culture derives from the practices of the ancient
Greeks; while the exact arrival of wine in Greek territory is unknown, it was
known to both the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures. Dionysus was the Greek
god of wine and revelry, and wine was frequently referred to in the works of
Homer and Aesop. In Homeric myths wine is usually served in "mixing bowls",
in which strong wine was diluted (presumably with water) in order to serve a
large number of people.
The Roman Empire expanded; wine production in the provinces grew to the
point the provinces were competing with Roman wines. Virtually all of the
major wine producing regions of Western Europe today were established by the
Romans.
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Wine making technology improved considerably during the time of the
Roman Empire. Many grape varieties and cultivation were known. Barrels were
developed for storing and shipping wine. Bottles were used for the first time.
And the early developments of an appellation system formed as certain regions
gained reputations for fine wine.
In medieval Europe wine was consumed by the church and the noble and
merchant classes, ale being the drink of the general populace. Wine was
necessary for the celebration of the Catholic Mass, and so assuring a supply was
crucial. The Benedictine monks became one of the largest producers of wine in
France and Germany, followed closely by the Cistercians. Other orders, such as
the Carthusians, the Templers, and the Carmelites, are also notable both
historically and modernly as wine producers. The Benedictines held vineyards
in Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux in France and in the Rheingau and
Franconia in Germany; indeed, they were the first to plant Riesling grapes in
Germany. Though they did not originate viticulture in these areas, they made it
into an industry, producing enough wine to ship it all over Europe for secular
use.
1.2.2. The history of drinking in America
The history of American drinking began when first Europeans to explore
parts of North America which they called Vinland because of the profusion of
grape vines they found. However, settlers would later discover that the wine
made from the various native grapes had flavors which were unfamiliar and
which they did not like. This led to repeated efforts to grow familiar Vitis
vinifera varieties. The discovery in 1802 of the native Catawba grape led to
very successful wine-making in Ohio. By 1842 Nicholas Longworth was
growing 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of Catawba grapes and making the country's
first Sparkling wine. In 1858, The Illustrated London News described Catawba
as "a finer wine of the hock species and flavor than any hock that comes from
the Rhine"

and

wrote

that

sparkling
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Catawba

"transcends


the Champagne of France. " But the successful operations in Ohio ceased when
fungus disease destroyed the vineyards. Some growers responded by moving
north to the shores of Lake Erie and its islands, where mildew was not a
problem. The Finger Lakes region of New York State developed a successful
wine-making industry beginning in the early 1860s when the Pleasant Valley
Wine Company began using carefully selected derivatives of native grapes to
produce wine. In 1865 the Urbana Wine Company (which marketed its wine
under the Gold Seal label) was established. In 1872, O-Neh-Da Vineyard was
established by the late Bishop Bernard McQuaid, on the shores of Hemlock
Lake, to make pure grape wine for his churches. 1880 saw the establishment of
the Taylor Wine Company. By the late 19th century, wines from the Finger
Lakes were winning prizes at wine tastings in Europe.
1.2.3. The history of drinking in Vietnam
In Vietnam, drinking appeared thousands of years ago, ever present in
the life, history and literature of the people, drinking is kind of drink which
present in many important events.
According to Bùi Tuý Phượng “It is difficult to know when and where
was born but talk about wine, the healing effect, the drinking culture, all
of people know about that. In Vietnam, drinking tied to community
activities, with rituals, festivals, cult, with vows. During history the
drinking infiltration into cultural life of the common people and one way
or another it has existed in the Vietnamese community”.
Drinking ingrained into people life, literature and poetry, there is a
famous folk talking about drinking:
“Rượu lưu ly chân quỳ tay rót
Cha mẹ uống rồi dời gót theo anh.”
Drinking culture exists in married life, full of friendship and tragic,
heroic, romantic, poetic. Drinking instead of the promise of the couple, drinking
is their witness with parent for good future.

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Vietnamese wine is often produced in the Southeast Asian country
of Vietnam. The region's tropical climate was ill suited for the type of Vitis
vinifera that the French colonists were used toand the wine industry turned its
attention to fruit wine production. The late 20th century saw renewed focus on
the development of Vitis vinifera with the assistance of flying winemakers from
regions

like Australia.

In

1995,

a

joint

venture

with Australian

winemakers started an aggressive planting scheme to reintroduce international
grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to land that was until
recently littered with landmines left over from the Vietnam war.
Due to the year round warmth, drinking in the southern region of Vietnam
can produce a harvest up to three times during the course of a calendar year.
Some plant varieties can produce fruit from new cuttings within a year of their
planting.
French colonists planted their vineyards in the highlands areas around
the Ba Vi mountain range near Hanoi. Modern viticultural techniques have
produced some successful results with aggressive pruning and the adoption of
the pergolas style of trellising. This Pergolas trellis has the benefit of keeping
the grapevines off the ground to where some of the humidity is ventilated which
reduces the risk of powdery mildew's developing. The grape bunches are shaded
by the canopy of the vine which reduces the yields.
Experiencing the war against the French colonialists and American
imperialists, wine in Vietnam keeps on developing and maintaining its own
identity. After two protracted wars, hardships until now drinking is more and
more growing with many designs and different tastes. Moreover, today outside
the traditional wine such as rice wine, wine Vietnam also produce many kinds
of fruit wines, to meet the essential needs of the market.
1.3. Benefits of drinking
1.3.1. Benefits of drinking for physical aspect

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Since 1991 there have been hundreds of reports providing strong
evidence proving the health benefits of drinking. Drinking can improve
digestion, promote relaxation and helps foster a good mood. Drinking also
contains iron, a necessary mineral for oxygen transport in the body.
The benefits of wine to bones
The April 2009 Issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
conducted a study of 2,700 people and their drinking habits. What they found
was that men who had one to two drinks per day had 4 percent more bone
density than those who had none. Women had 5 to 8 percent denser bones.
Beyond two glasses a day though, the bone strength diminished.
Following a research of HealthDay shows drinking a couple glasses of
wine each day boosts bone health. In wine, polyphenols, which have been
linked to protection from heart disease, might also protect bone. Dr. Robert P.
Heaney, a bone and nutrition expert at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.,
said he agreed that drinking is good for bone. Indeed, drinking more than two
glasses of wine a day is obviously more likely to increase the risk of falls and
fractures through entirely different means.
The benefits of wine to cancer
In one study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente in California, respondents
who reported drinking no more than 1 glass of wine a day had a 56% decrease
in the risk for developing, a rate lower than that of heavy and non-drinkers.
While heavy drinking consumption has been proven to increase the risk of
cancer. In response to these studies, Dr Prateek Sharma, MD, of the University
of Kansas School of Medicine, notes that there may be other links such as
people who drink wine leading generally healthier lifestyles with consuming
less fats and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Research conducted at the Yale School of Public Health in 2009, suggest
that wine may have some protective benefits against some forms of cancer.
Women diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were questioned about their
alcohol consumption patterns and followed for an 8 to 12-year period.
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Compared to non-drinkers, women who had been drinking wine for at least 25
years prior were 33% less likely to die over the five-year period following
diagnosis and 26% less likely to experience a relapse or develop a secondary
cancer during that same five-year period. Of all the women in the study, 75% of
those who drank at least 12 glasses of wine over the course of their lifetime
were alive after five years compared to 66% of the women who never drank any
wine. Women who drank beer and alcohol spirits showed no differences.
The benefits of wine to cardiovascular system and brain
Studies have proven that drinking can help prevent heart disease and
atherosclerosis, keep your cholesterol levels in check , and prevent certain types
of cancer .The drinking itself may help to raise the good cholesterol and inhibit
the formation of blood clots. This is called vasodilation, meaning the opening of
the blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
For moderate drinkers, medical research indicates moderate wine consumption
may lower the mortality rate and risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that
moderate wine drinking can improve the balance of low-density lipoprotein
(LDL or "bad" cholesterol) to high-density lipoprotein (HDL "good"
cholesterol), which has been theorized as to clean up or remove LDL from
blocking arteries.
The elements in drinking are also found to produce estrogen and
increase its levels in the body. Estrogen is also an antioxidant which is capable
of keeping the brain cells healthy.
1.3.2. Benefits of drinking for social and cultural aspects
The right way drinking not only healthy, but also conducive to the spirit.
It is an integral part of social rituals. Whenever people can drink, when they are
happy or sad, they also drink. Every drink is loaded with symbolic meaning;
every drink conveys a message. Drinking is a symbolic vehicle for identifying,
describing,

constructing

and

manipulating

cultural

systems,

interpersonal relationships, behavioural norms and expectations.
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values,


In many Western cultures, for example, champagne is synonymous with
celebration, such that if champagne is ordered or served at an otherwise
‘ordinary’ occasion, someone will invariably ask "What are we celebrating?".
Finding that drinking is considered an appropriate accompaniment to a
meal; wine and spirits are appropriate drinks for celebratory events.
Drinking is essentially a social act, subject to a variety of rules and
norms regarding who may drink what, when, where, with whom and so on.
As a species, we are addicted to ritual. Almost every event of any
significance in our lives is marked with some sort of ceremony or celebration and almost all of these rituals, in most cultures, involve drinking.
Major life-cycle events such as birth, coming-of-age, marriage and death;
important life-changes such as graduation or retirement - and even far less
momentous shifts such as the daily transition from work to play - all require
ritual endorsement. Drinking in most cultures is a central element of such
rituals.
As significant transitions are ritualised, in some form, in every society, and
almost all of these rites of passage involve drinking, an exhaustive catalogue of
rituals and beverages would be repetitive and unenlightening: a few
representative examples convey the range of transitions which are ceremonially
marked, and illustrate the role of drinking in ritualisation.
The purchase or building of a first house, and subsequent house-moves,
are, in many cultures, transitions of significance in terms of social and economic
status, as well as potentially stressful events for those concerned - a
combination which seems to demand ritual recognition. In some cultures, the
rites of passage associated with house-transitions may involve only family and
close friends; in others, the entire community may participate in the ritual, in
which drinking will usually play a central role.

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Drinking, like ritual, is a medium for ‘constructing the world’. Drinks
define significant transitions in our lives through their function as "brightly
coloured material labels of events" (Douglas, 1987).
The connection between drinking and festivity is also strong that we find
it hard to imagine one without the other. Their meanings are intertwined, and, in
many cultures, interchangeable: to drink is to be festive, to be festive is to drink.
Festivity is strongly associated with drinking in these cultures, but is not
invoked as a justification for every drinking occasion: a celebration most
certainly requires alcohol, but every drink does not require a celebration.
1.4. Wine throughout the world
The USA is a country that has Protestant origins, and the Protestant
religion has been characterized by ambivalence about drinking. The US has less
polarization on this issue than most other countries that have had temperance
movements, and is thus less judgmental about the consumption of
alcohol. Drinking consumption has been an important aspect of social life in the
US. Drinking use is learned at a very young age in the US, and this is because it
is widely available and extensively advertised. Boys are more encouraged than
girls to drink in the home, and teenage drinking is often cited as being a
problem because of the risky behaviors they engage in while drunk.
For countries from which statistics are available, France has consistently
had the highest annual per capita alcohol consumption. This is largely due to
the amount of wine consumption in the country. However, recent trends have
shown a decrease in drinking since WWII, and a general convergence among
the EU nations. There exist major differences between the consumption of wine
between men and women in France and this is linked to the idea of masculinity
within the French culture. Women tend to drink both lower quantity and lower
quality wines, including wine mixed with water as a “lighter” drink. Wine
drinking is comparatively heavier in the wine producing regions of France. The
recent decrease in wine consumption in France has been tentatively linked to the
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less ritualized manner in which youth entertain themselves today. Elaborate
balls have been replaced by the attempt to get drunk, which does not involve the
drinking of expensive wines. All of these attributes, and many more, describe
the

French

market

for

wine

and

why that

market

is

changing .

In Italy, the yearly per capita rate of alcohol consumption has long been
declining, but family expenditures on alcohol still reach into 2% of the family
budget. Wine pervades most spheres of life, consisting as a large part of the
Italian culture. If someone is said to drink, then they are assumed to be a heavy
drinker in Italy. Wine is considered nourishment to the Italians, and was often a
supplement to the diet of the lower classes that needed additional calories,
which were provided by the wine. Wine is considered to be a regular part of
every day life, so no special circumstances are needed to bring this drink out.
Italy is divided into quarters, and the northeast is considered the wettest of these
regions. Beyond a region distinction, there exists a gender distinction in Italy.
It is said that women get drunk less often then men in regular culture, and in
peasant culture this is even more pronounced, as women in this social class only
drink on special occasions. There is also very little distinction based on the type
of occupation someone holds. Among youth, males drink more often than
females, and wine is most often drunk at home with the family.
1.5. Previous research
1.5.1. In America
There are many research projects and books about this topic have done.
According to Mr. Jancis Robinson (2008) talks about the new how to
taste features thoroughly updated vintages and producers as well as up-andcoming wine regions and styles. Incorporating wines that are both easily
obtainable and reasonably priced how to choose from a wine list, organize your
own wine tastings.
Following Mr. Tom Stevenson (2011) shows Reflecting recent changes in
the dynamic world of wine, with special sections devoted to the countries of
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Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, The Sotheby's Wine
Encyclopedia is the most up-to-date and comprehensive wine reference in the
world. A remarkable achievement, bridging the gap between the needs of the
novice and the experienced professional, The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia is
fully illustrated, highly accessible, and contains authoritative information on
every wine-related topic.
According to Mr. Eric Asimov (2012) with charm, wit, and intelligence,
Asimov tells how he went from writing beer reviews for his high school
newspaper on Long Island to the most coveted job in the industry. He evaluates
the current wine culture, discussing trends both interesting and alarming, and
celebrates the extraordinary pleasures of wine while, at the same time,
questioning the conventional wisdom about wine. Whether you’re a connoisseur
or a novice, already love wine or want to know it better, How to Love Wine: A
Memoir and Manifesto is the book for you.
1.5.2. In Viet Nam
Thai Luong (1998) , Nguyen Hong Hai (2004) and Nguyen Lan Dung
(2012). They mention and explain so clearly in win culture of Vietnamese: the
ways of drinking wine, how to taste wine, kinds of wine, etc. However, they are
single researches. They only mention aspects of wine culture of Vietnamese
without comparison with others to find the differences and similarities. This is
the first time the research “A comparison of drinking in American culture and
Vietnamese culture” has ever been studied by a student at Foreign Language
Department of Hung Vuong University in Viet Tri city. The researcher hoped
that the contributions of this research will help students understand about wine
American and Vietnam culture.

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Chapter 2
DRINKING IN AMERICAN AND VIETNAMESE CULTURE
In this chapter, section 2.1 is an introduction about drinking culture in America.
In Section 2.2, the researcher will display drinking culture in Vietnam.
2.1. Drinking culture in America
2.1.1. Types of popular wine in America
It is not generally appreciated that the US regularly makes more wine
than any country other than France, Italy and Spain. Wine has never been more
popular with Americans. In America, classification criteria wine of American is
based on the stage of the meal. Besides, American also classify wine base on
materials to produce many kinds of wine. However, in this research the research
only concentrates on the stage of the meal. According to Andrea Robinson
author of the book “Great Wine Made Simple”, there are three popular wines in
America; this is appetizer wine, table wine and dessert wine.
2.1.1.1. Appetizer wine
Appetizer wine is the kind of wine to enjoy at the beginning of meal, it
always is served before a meal, appetizer wine is pure and alcohol concentration
is very low, it helps to increase appetite. The formula made appetizer wine with
a diversity fragrant and herb. American made from sweet fruit and unique herbs.
When the guests sit down, the waiter will pour a glass of appetizer wine
to invited guests. Appetizer wine usually have low concentrations, when
pouring wine have to decant the bottle carefully to not pour deposits into a glass
of customer. American always put out enough appetizers to fill up their guests.
Instead of going on to dinner, the trend is for friends to linger, talk and sip wine,
and a table brimming with lovely appetizers encourages guests to settle in.
Before starting meal, American often talks to their friends and sips a glass of
appetizer wine and writes reviews of their favorite wines before they arrive and
place them near the bottle or leave cards by each wine for guests to make
comments.

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There are some kinds of appetizer wine which are often used in America;
such as Vermouth, Ricard, French Vermouth, etc. Vermouth is herb wine, it is
pale yellow and used primarily for mixing cocktails Martini, although some
people also drink with ice as an aperitif. Ricard wine (brandy) is the most
famous in Pastic group, the drinking group with a seed tubers Pernod but more
licorice. Alcoholic strength of 45%, there is the pure light brown and become
cloudier when diluted with water and never served with lemon. French
Vermouth is also called Dry Vermouth; it is pale and chilled, in small glasses
and can add a slice of lemon if you like. Dry Vermouth Martini is often used for
mixing cocktails.
Appetizer wine usually drinks anhydrous, sweet, bitter balance and
moderate alcohol content. Appetizer wine is a combination of dozens of scents
plants such as anise, licorice, cumin. It can also be extremely simple
ingredients. The important thing is that it will stimulate your taste buds.
2.1.1.2. Table wine
Table wine is used in meals, it is white or red. If American enjoy the
bottle pick up several bottles of it, keep it around their house, and enjoy a glass
or two with a quick dinner, after a hard day at work, or because wine is
awesome. The most important part is that even after they found a table wine that
you like, to be open to trying new ones since a little variety certainly never
hurts.
In the United States, the official definition for table wine is a wine that
contains a minimum of 7 percent alcohol and a maximum of 14 percent. This
definition does not define quality in any way, although some connote table wine
with lower-quality, inexpensive wine. Table wine is used in throughout the
meal, American eats and drink table wine, the alcohol level is not too high. They
often sip and eaten with food.
Table wine is divided into two types: red wine and white wine. Many
people also choose wines based on food, however there is also the choice and
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preference of each person. American depend on psychological factors,
depending on the time, space and object to changes its taste, not necessarily
follow the rules about wine and food.
Red wine includes Red Burgundy and Bordeaux. Red Burgundy is quite
heavy and used in the most drinking. Light Burgundy is served with lamb, liver,
kidneys and Heavy Burgundy is served with beef, goose, duck, and seafood. In
the U.S. there are a few types known such as Pinot Noir, Red Noir, Gamey, and
Sharif. Burgundy can be used for all kinds of food.
The white wines are usually lighter red wine therefore American often
used with light meals such as chicken, fish, shellfish, cheese, snails beef, and
fresh bread. White wines include White Burgundies and White Bordaux. White
Burgundies is kind of the American Chables such as Pinot balanc, Chardonnays,
Folle Banche. Champagne does not fall into used in meal excluding sweet
Champagne. However, Champagne is also used in all cases as you like. White
wine is always used in cold and a smaller glass than red wine glass. Once
opened, the white wine is not last as red wine.
2.1.1.3. Dessert wine
Dessert wines, sometimes called pudding wines, are sweet wines
typically served with dessert. Makers of dessert wines want to produce a wine
containing high levels of both sugar and alcohol, yet the alcohol is made from
sugar. In America, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with
a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry)
drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines ( port and madeira ) drunk
after it. Thus, most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines,
but some of the less strong fortified white wines, such as Pedro Ximénez sherry
and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise , are regarded as honorary dessert wines.
Dessert wines are served with fruit, cheese or granules. For example,
Tawny Port, White Port or Cream Sherries. Cream Sherries is the most sweet
used after meal. Cream Sherrie’s kind of dark, fragrant mix of nuts. Some wines
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can also be used after meals as White Bordeaux, Champagne, Bordeaux .. It is
used after meals at room temperature. Some people prefer to use cold. This is
not necessary and depending on the preferences of each person.
2.1.2. How to enjoy drinking in America
In American living very close to wine in every meal and party time with
a friends, family, partner and they from the young kid learn from the parent
“how to enjoy the drinking” that is another meaning is “how to acquire the taste
for wine.” Because of without good taste how can enjoy the wine.
America can make a taste of wine; they let the glass sit for 5 to 30
minutes. This mildly oxidizes both the alcohol and grape components of the
wine, which has been without oxygen since the first week of wine production.
The result is a mellower, "fuller" and more pleasant beverage than what first
came out of the bottle.
Swirl your wine vigorously in the glass, and observe how it looks and
acts versus other wines. Examine the color, especially against a light
Use a glass which can trap the smell, and sniff deeply after swirling (you will
see wine aficionados literally putting their noses into the glass when doing this).
Try to come up with comparisons to other things you've smelled, like cut fruit,
minced herbs, or even hot tea. Swirl the wine in your mouth, noticing how it
feels. Make sure it flows over the tip, both sides, under the tongue, and into the
back of your mouth. After noticing the tastes, either swallow or spit out the
wine, then breathe in through your mouth drawing air over all those parts of
your tongue again - this will cause the tastes from the wine to change,
sometimes quite suddenly and sharply. Again, try to draw comparisons to other
things you've tasted. Notice especially the changes the taste goes through as it
fades on the tongue, and how long those ‘finish' lasts.
Taste a variety of wine. You may think you dislike wine because the ones
you've tried just aren't compatible with your preferences. By exposing yourself
to a wide variety of wines, you increase the likelihood that you'll find a wine (or
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two, or three) that you thoroughly enjoy. Different varietals have both subtle
and obvious differences in taste and character. The variations of flavor,
sweetness, nose, and other characteristics are the focus of varietal wines, and are
by far the most common class of wines available in most markets. Different
blends of wine combine the characteristics of varietal grapes to create balanced
and complex flavors - often requiring years in the bottle to achieve a mature
flavor.
There is much more to wine than simply red or white; blushes, ice wines,
sparkling wines, Madeira, ports, Sherries, and then you get to the distillations of
wines such as armagnac or brandy. Each of these - including red and white - are
different methods of processing the fruit, the juice, or the wine. Aged and new
wine. Vintners design wines which are supposed to be drunk immediately, and
wines which will be better after some time in the bottle. Try both young and old
wines, and if possible purchase a batch of the same wine and drink one of every
year to experience the subtle changes a wine goes through as it changes over
time.
In America there are also many families, clans make properly rules:
daughter are not allowed drinking, son are over 18 years old. The U.S. is
promoting democracy and freedom but their legal provisions are clear: Young
people under 21 years old are not allowed to drink wine, if the adult enticement,
they would be considered illegal. Restaurants are not allowed to sell wine
before 12 noon and absolute ban for people under 21 years old.
A party in America is not lack of drinking, not limited to drink but have to
follow certain ritual. In the party, people often only drink enough, mainly for
fun atmosphere and mental clarity.
2.1.3. Drinking in social ritual in America
Drinking has played a central role in almost all human cultures since
Neolithic times (about 4000 BC). All societies, without exception, make use of
intoxicating substances, alcohol being by far the most common.
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The persistence of alcohol use, on a near-universal scale, throughout
human evolution, suggests that drinking must have had some significant
adaptive benefits, although this does not imply that the practice is invariably
beneficial. Drinking has been a social activity, and both consumption and
behavior have been subject to self-imposed social controls. Attempts at
prohibition have never been successful except when couched in

terms of

sacred rules in highly religious cultures.
There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave
when they drink. In some societies, especially America, alcohol is associated
with violent and anti-social behavior, while in others (such as Mediterranean
and some South American cultures) drinking behavior is largely peaceful and
harmonious.
This variation cannot be attributed to different levels of consumption or
genetic differences, but is clearly related to different cultural beliefs about
alcohol, expectancies regarding the effects of alcohol and social norms
regarding drunken comportment.
There is convincing historical and contemporary evidence to show that
the adoption of ‘foreign’ drinks often involves the adoption of the drinking
patterns, attitudes and behaviors of the alien culture. This has nothing to do with
any intrinsic properties of the beverages themselves - beer, for example, may be
associated with disorderly behavior in some cultures or sub-cultures and with
benign sociability in others.
In terms of everyday transitions, America in which drinking is only used
to mark the transition from work to play - where drinking is associated with
recreation and irresponsibility, and regarded as antithetical to working - tend to
have higher levels of alcohol-related problems. Drinking with America is an
integral part of the normal working day, and alcohol may be used to mark the
transition to work tend to have lower levels of alcohol-related problems.
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Drinking is universally associated with celebration, and drinking is, in all
cultures, an essential element of festivity.
In societies with an ambivalent, morally charged relationship with alcohol
(such as the UK, US, Scandinavia, Australia), ‘celebration’ is used as an excuse
for drinking. In societies in which drinking is a morally neutral element of
normal life (such as Italy, Spain and France), alcohol is strongly associated with
celebration, but celebration is not invoked as a justification for every drinking
occasion.
In cultures with a tradition of casual, everyday drinking in addition to
celebratory drinking, any shifts towards the more episodic celebratory drinking
of ‘ambivalent’ cultures should be viewed with concern, as these patterns are
associated with higher levels of alcohol-related problems.
Although America is one of countries which the world’s highest
consumers of drinking, the literature review showed that very little research has
focused on social and cultural aspects of drinking in America.
Most national and cross-cultural studies of drinking in Europe have been
of a purely quantitative, epidemiological nature and provide little or no insight
into the social contexts and cultural roles of drinking.

2.1.4. The anti-alcohol trading period in America from 1920 to 1933
The prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's and 30's in the United States is
one of most famous, or infamous, times in recent American history. The
intention was to reduce the consumption of alcohol by eliminating businesses
that manufactured, distributed and sold it. Considered by many as a failed social
and political experiment, the era changed the way many Americans view
alcoholic beverages, enhancing the realization that federal government control
cannot always take the place of personal responsibility.
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