Rice Wine


Rice Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of rice starch converted to sugars. The fermentation process is similar to beer, with the exception that rice wine's fermentation involves amylolytic processes. The alcohol content of rice wine is higher than that of regular wines or beers, sitting on average at 20%% alcohol content (40 Proof). Typically found in the East, rice wine is used in a variety of Asian flavored cuisines.


Other names: Yellow Wine, Shao Hsing, Sake (Japan), Shao Xing
Translations: Rīsu vīna, Ryžių vynas, Rice Vinului, Rượu gạo, Wino z ryżu, राइस वाइन, Рисовое вино, Ρύζι Οίνος, رايس النبيذ, 쌀 와인, Rýžové víno, Sake, 米酒, Vi d'arròs, Rice Vino, Ryžové víno, Vino di riso, רייס יין, Risvin, Пиринач вино, ライスワイン, Vin de riz, Reiswein, Rice Vin, Vino de arroz, Рисове вино, Riisiviiniä, Оризово вино

Physical Description

It is commonly packaged in smaller, thicker bottles, kept at room temperature. The texture of rice wine is lighter, more similar to liquor.

Colors: yellow, red, brown or black

Tasting Notes

Flavors: rich flavor
Mouthfeel: Tart
Food complements: Chicken, Steak, Mushrooms
Substitutes: Pale dry sherry, Gin, Dry white wine, Apple juice or white grape juice

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: When looking for rice wine for cooing, look for those with an alcohol content of 17.5%.
Buying: Drinking quality rice wine is very difficult to find in North America. Rice wine suitable for cooking can be found at any Chinese/Asian groceries.
Using online merchants can be very useful when trying to obtain imported high quality rice wines.
Procuring: Alcoholic beverages distilled from rice were exclusive to East and Southeast Asian countries, with knowledge of the distillation process reaching India and parts of South Asia later through trade. The fermentation process involves rice starch, so creation would involve the cultivation of rice.

Preparation and Use

Rice wine is used both in drinking and cooking, although those used for cooking have lower alcohol content.

In cooking, rice wine is used to tenderize meat and seafood marinades, and to impart flavor to food. Rice wine even forms the basis of an herbal soup meant to help new mothers recover quickly after giving birth.

Cleaning: Any club soda or simple detergents should be able to remove any stains caused by rice wine.

Conserving and Storing

Store rice wine at room temperature preferably out of the light. When opened, rice wine is typically good for up to 2 weeks, but this all depends on the quality of your wine. Drinking rice wines will typically be consumed between 1-3 days after opening. A proper top will affect this.


History: Origins of sake are unclear however the earliest written reference to use of alcohol in Japan is recorded in the Book of Wei, of the Records of Three Kingdoms



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Kevins's picture

Complete details of red wine, quite good. I know some very inserting points regarding Irish wine, it is made from Rondo grapes and wine of here is very very disease resistant. According to me <a href="http://www.winecellar.ie/">buy wine online</a> is better option to purchase wine.

Neil's picture

Hey Kev, what red qine are you referring to? Are they making rice wine in the post?