Rice wine is an alcoholic beverage made from rice. Unlike European wine(about China Liquor), which is made by fermentation of naturally occurring sugars in sweet grapes and other fruit, rice wine is made from the fermentation of rice starch that has been converted to sugars. The process is somewhat similar to the mashing process used in beer(Drunk Eggs) and whiskey production but differs in the source of the enzymes that convert starch to sugars. In rice and other cereal wines, microbes are the source of the enzymes whereas beer, ale and whiskey production utilizes the enzymes naturally occurring in sprouted cereal grains.
Strictly speaking wine is the product of fermenting grape juice. Alcoholic beverages produced by fermenting the starch found in cereal grains like rice, are thus not technically wine as such. As they utilize grains, so-called starch or cereal wines such as Japanese Sake or Chinese Huangjiu could be considered more akin to beer than wine, yet the finished alcoholic beverage is so disparate from beer that this description is very misleading. The organoleptic qualities of a fermented cereal beverage such as rice wine are much more like grape wine and this is often the context used for its description. Rice wine typically has a higher alcohol content, 18%–25% ABV, than grape wine (9%–16%), which in turn has a higher alcohol content than beer (usually 4%–6%).
Rice wines are used in Asian gastronomy much the same way as grape wines are used in European cuisine, e.g. at formal dinners and banquets and in cooking. Secondly, rice wines are used in a religious and ceremonial context in a manner that grape wine was used in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations and is still used in the modern Christian Eucharist ceremony. Rice wines are also revered in the arts and literature of Asian cultures much the same way grape wine is in European culture. Beer is rarely used in any of the former contexts, so in the eyes of many rice wine is the correct cultural translation for the fermented cereal beverages of Asia.
(1). rice vinegar(Chinese Vinegar Peanuts).Chinese rice vinegar are stronger than Japanese ones, and range in color from clear to various shades of red and brown. Chinese and especially Japanese vinegar are very mild and sweet compared to distilled and more acidic Western vinegar which, for that reason, are not appropriate substitutes for rice vinegar. Chinese rice vinegar are made from huangjiu, a type of rice wine. found that rice vinegar is great because it’s a very mellow vinegar. Just use a little less than your recipe calls for.
(2). An alternative if you do is a mix of white wine and sweet sherry or either one alone, sake is o.k but is higher in alcohol than normal Chinese cooking wines(Oriental Cooking Blog), the shaixcin type which is darker and more flavorful than the clear type, but if you do not want to add it even a bit of rice vinegar is fine.
(3). dry sherry.Rice wine adds a subtle flavor. Just like adding wine to any food like red wine to stews. It’s there, you notice it. You can leave it out of course. A substitute is dry sherry. I often buy(Best Things to buy in China) just a cheap sherry and use that for cooking.