As you may know, Wine Gifted has definitely championed the health benefits of wine in the past. However, when you start talking about infusing a wine with an endangered animal, it’s just not something we can get behind. Obviously, what we are talking about here is tiger bone wine. I would have loved it if I found out that “tiger bone wine” was just the name of some bold wine or energy drink, and not that it utilizes the actual bones of tigers. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Tiger bone wine is a Chinese wine made from tiger bones that are soaked in rice wine and aged (sometimes up to 8 years.) What results is a beverage high in alcohol that supposedly boosts the body’s health and power. Supporters of the drink believe that it promotes healing, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and cures arthritis. What it also seems to bring, however, is a sense of prestige and superiority. As such, the wealthy are willing to pay top dollar for tiger bone wine, which, as you can imagine, leads many to want to get into the tiger bone sales game.
What is worth mentioning is that, while tiger parts have been a part of the Chinese food culture for thousands of years, China does not condone the poaching of wild tigers for their bones. The country actually officially banned the trading of tiger bones in 1993. However, back in 2005, the government did allow some businesses to breed tigers in captivity to use their bones for medicinal purposes.
Those in favor of these captive tiger farms argue that it actually helps in the conservation of the wild tiger population. But despite the intentions behind the tiger farms, wild tiger poaching is on the rise. By granting an exception in the tiger bone ban, the government seems to have communicated to its citizens a more lax attitude towards the purchase of tiger bone (domestic or wild.) With the increase in demand, and the fact that it is cheaper to kill wild tigers than it is to take the time to breed, raise, and kill a domestic tiger, poaching becomes an attractive method for harvesting the tiger bones.
Like I’ve explained many times before, I love me some wine, but I will never love me some wine that has tiger in it. I definitely have to take the side of those supporting an absolute ban on tiger bone wine.