15 Best Rice Wine Substitutes You Can Try!

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Making Chinese cuisine and need a splash of rice wine in your dish, but you just realized you are out of it. It’s okay; we can help you find a fantastic rice wine substitute. You can read the article below to find out the answer.

Rice wine

Some of the best rice wine substitutes you can try are white wine, gin, mirin, apple juice, rice vinegar, and dry vermouth.

Rice wine is made from fermenting glutinous rice starches using yeast, fungi, and lactic acid bacteria transforming sugars to produce alcohol. It has a vinegary, spicy, and caramel-like taste. 

The majority of rice wines have a relatively low alcohol content compared to Western wines, except for some well-known varieties. 

Some of them are Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine), mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), and sake (dry Japanese rice wine).

You can read this article to learn more about the alternatives to rice wine. So let’s jump into the article.

15 Best Rice Wine Substitutes

Alcoholic Substitutes For Rice Wine 

1. Dry Sherry

Dry sherry is one of the closest substitutes for rice wine. It has a crisp, tangy, yeasty, and nutty flavor. 

It can replace rice wine and can be used in dishes with chicken, pork, veal, soup, seafood, shellfish, and vegetables.

It is a good choice for a keto diet as it has low carbs, sugar, and sodium. You can use one tablespoon of dry sherry instead of rice wine, but you should taste it first.

2. Gin


Gin is a good substitute if a recipe requires white rice wine as it comes closer to the flavor profile. It has a distinct taste of juniper berries.

The use of citrus peels in gin adds citrus flavor and aroma. Gin goes well with pasta and fish and can be used in baked goods, mousses, and iced confections.

From a health point of view, it is a healthier option than many liquors as it controls blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

You can use an equal amount of gin instead of rice wine.

3. Sake

The Japanese version of the rice wine is sake and can work as a substitute for rice wine. The flavor is fruity, resembling apples, bananas, and other fruits, and it ranges in sweetness from dry to sweet.

Sake is a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine because it can give umami flavors and odor removal. You can stir-fry, steam food, make rice, and bake with it.

Sake is good for health as it improves sleep and skin. It also aids in digestion and reduces the risk of various diseases. You can substitute rice wine with sake in an equal ratio.

4. Mirin

Mirin is another Japanese version of rice wine and can be a great alternative to rice wine. It has a distinctly sweet and sour flavor and a consistency similar to a thick syrup.

Due to its high sweet content, it is ideal for creating glazes, sauces, marinades, and dressing. Mirin is used in dishes based on teriyaki sauce, udon, or ramen.

Simply start with less than the recipe calls for to get a more flavorful and intense taste if you want to improve your cooking.

5. Cooking Wine


Cooking wine can be used as a substitute for rice wine. It has acidity and fruit flavors with higher alcohol content.

As per the taste concerns, it has preservatives, sweeteners, and salt, so your final dish tastes overly sweet, salty, or even metallic.

It is used to make soup, stew, sauce, and a braise more flavorful, but use it carefully; otherwise, it overpowers the flavors.

6. Cheongju

Cheongju is a traditional Korean refined rice wine with a rich taste and a spicy alcohol burn but with a pleasant earthy cheesiness.

It pairs well with kimchi, bibimbap, and bulgogi and in Korean marinades, sauces, and other seasonings. It also complements seafood and grilled meats for a strong and savory flavor.

From a health point of view, it aids digestion, boosts the immune system, and has anti-inflammatory and cancer properties. You can use an equal amount of Cheongju instead of rice wine.

7. Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth is an Italian fortified wine with a floral, herbal, and fruity taste. 

Sweet vermouth is used in meat or vegetables, poaching fish, or simply adding it to a simmering stew. Hence, it makes a great rice wine substitute in cooking. 

From a health point of view, dry vermouth has calcium, sodium, and carbohydrates. If you want to enhance dish favors, just start with less than the recipe calls for.

8. Dry White Wine

White wine can successfully take the place of rice wine. It tastes fruity and smells like a tart. In addition to flavors of sweetness and spice, dry white wine has a high level of acidity. 

Chicken, pork, veal, soup, seafood, shellfish, and vegetables can all be prepared using dry white wine.

It is fantastic for health as it regulates your heart and lung health, maintains blood sugar, prevents aging, fights off colds, and improves brain function.

You can use dry white wine equal to rice wine when using the former as a substitute. 

Non-Alcoholic Drinks You Can Try 

You can substitute various non-alcoholic drinks, as listed below, for rice wine if you don’t want to drink alcohol.

9. Rice Vinegar


Rice vinegar is a by-product of rice fermentation, having a sweet and savory aroma, and can work as an alternative for rice wine.

For rice wine substitution, it’s perfect for sauces, marinades, salad dressing, and sushi.

Rice vinegar contains numerous vitamins and minerals. Research suggests it can also support weight loss and control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Instead of rice wine, you can substitute one tablespoon of rice vinegar; however, you should taste it first.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most commonly used vinegar. Crushed apples, yeast, and sugar are used in their preparation.

Some things that you can prepare using apple cider vinegar are salad dressings, pickles, and marinades.

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus source. It also aids with weight loss and helps in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.

 You can use apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.

11. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar syrup-like consistency, complex flavors, and tart aftertaste can be used as an alternative to rice wine. It has a balanced taste of sour and sweet.

You can pour balsamic vinegar over meat, pork, chicken, or seafood. It is paired with desserts to bring more sweetness.

Balsamic vinegar has many health benefits helping lose weight, improving heart health, and controlling diabetes. A 1:1 ratio substitution is adequate if you are using balsamic vinegar.

12. White Grape Juice

White grape juice is an excellent non-alcoholic alternative to rice wine. It is better to use white grape juice with lighter, crisp flavors. They provide a refreshing taste with slightly herbal notes.

It is excellent for health as it has beneficial minerals like potassium and manganese. 

It helps to reduce the risk of heart-related problems, improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure, lower inflammation, and treat blood clotting.

You can use white grape juice in an equal amount in any recipe that calls for rice wine. 

13. Apple Juice

Due to its acidic and sweet taste, apple juice can be used as an alternative to rice wine. It has an identical flavor to rice wine but lacks its sweetness.

It can work for salad dressings, veggies, and stir-fries as a substitute for rice wine. From a health point of view, it supports heart health, hydration, and brain function. 

You can use one tablespoon of apple juice instead of rice wine.

14. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar can be used as an alternative to rice wine. It has a more rounded, nuanced, and fruity flavor. 

White wine vinegar can be used to prepare salads, sauces, marinades, fish, and meat. It promotes heart health, has anti-tumor properties, and controls blood control.

Replace the rice wine with an equal amount of white wine vinegar. 

15. Chicken or Vegetable Stock


Chicken or vegetable stock is a non-alcoholic substitute for rice wine. It is budget-friendly, available, and can be used to prepare soups and stews. 

It’s a decent mild savory flavor that enhances sauces, glazes, and soup bases. You can use it in meat dishes.

Chicken is usually the better option, but vegetable stock is a good alternative for non-meat eaters. Use in a 1:1 substitution ratio.

Short Recap Of The Best Rice Wine Substitutes

That was a long substitute list, right? I hope you’ve found a suitable substitute for idle rice wine. Are you still undecided about which of these substitutes you should choose? 

To make choosing your option easier, I’ve divided it into three categories. Take a peek around.

Best Rice WineSubstitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture-

  • Dry Sherry
  • White Wine
  • Sake

Best Rice Wine Substitutes That Are Easily Available-

  • Dry Sherry
  • Grapes Juice
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Apple Juice

Best Rice Wine Substitutes Should Be Least Considered-

  • Cooking Wine

How To Use Rice Wine Substitutes In A Recipe?

15 Best Rice Wine Substitutes You Can Try!

Some of the best rice wine substitutes you can try are white wine, gin, mirin, apple juice, rice vinegar, and dry vermouth.
5 from 1 vote


  • Dry Sherry
  • Gin
  • Sake
  • Mirin
  • Cooking Wine
  • Cheongju
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Dry White Wine
  • Apple Juice
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Apple cider Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Grape Juice
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Vegetable or Chicken Stock


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Now that we have come to the end of the article. I hope you find an alternative for yourself.

All of the options in this section function well and improve the flavor of your food. Till then, we will meet at the next one. 

Happy Cooking

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to use in place of rice wine in cooking?

You can use gin, sake, or dry sherry as rice wine’s substitute in cooking.

What can I use in place of rice wine?

You can use dry sherry, white wine, dry vermouth, or white grape juice as an alternative to rice wine.

What is the closest vinegar to rice wine?

Rice vinegar is the closest vinegar to rice wine.

Can apple cider vinegar be substituted for rice wine?

Yes, you can substitute apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar.

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