What is the Difference Between Rice Vinegar and Rice Wine Vinegar?

Asian cuisines are usually on a totally different level. The ingredients used are most of the time finger-licking. If your love for such cuisines is anything to go by, you must have come across rice vinegar vs rice wine vinegar.

These ingredients form part of a number of Asian cuisines. They not only improve the quality of the food but also induce flavors. Even though their names appear similar, there are differences between these ingredients that not many are aware of.

So, where exactly are they used? Do they share some properties in common? Can one be used in the place of another? These questions plus many more must have crossed your mind in many occasions. We are here to address these plus many more.

Rice Vinegar and Rice Wine Vinegar
Rice Vinegar and Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice vinegar same as rice wine vinegar?

As already mentioned above, rice wine and rice vinegar are two totally different ingredients. Well, rice wine is an alcoholic beverage that can be used for either drinking and cooking. The rice wine is commonly used in Asian countries.

Rice wine is actually made from fermented rice. This fermentation is done using fungi, bacteria and yeast. The alcohol content of rice wine is about 18 to 25% ABV. The most common rice wines are Shaoxing, Mirin and Sake.

Rice wine vinegar, on the other hand, is made by first fermenting sugars in rice into alcohol before introduction into acids. Unlike white distilled vinegar, rice wine vinegar is often less acidic with sweet, mild and delicate flavor.

Rice wine vinegar in most cases is used in salad dressings, pickling vegetables and marinades.

The process of making these ingredients is totally different; this is the first difference between the rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar.

Secondly, rice wine vinegar has low alcohol content and is sweet as compared to the rice vinegar which has acidic taste. The acidity of rice vinegar is the reason it is used in small quantities in foods.

Thirdly, apart from being used as an alcoholic beverage, rice wine vinegar can be added directly to sauces, dishes and marinades. Rice vinegar aren’t used as alcoholic beverage and is purely used on sauces, sushi and marinades to add flavor.

Their nutritional values are not the same with rice wine vinegar being rich in calories and carbohydrates with zero salts and sugars whereas rice vinegar has lots of salt and sugars with very minimal calories and carbohydrates.

What can be used as a substitute for rice wine vinegar?

Rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar are made from rice; one similarity between the two. But can one be used in place of the other? Well, these are totally different products that can never be used as each other’s substitute.

That being said, rice wine vinegar can only be substituted with ingredients with similar tastes like dry white, gin, white grape juice and pale dry sherry wines.

On the other hand, you can use apple cider vinegar in place of rice vinegar. Additionally, you can use champagne vinegarlime and balsamic vinegar in place of rice vinegar.

These are just some of the many options that can be used as substitutes to these kitchen ingredients. There are still lots of others that you can explore.

Types of Vinegar

rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar
rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar

Vinegar is one key kitchen ingredient that never misses in our homes. Their uses are numerous with the most common being usage in cleaning and cooking. There are lots of different types of vinegar currently in the market. So, which are they?

  • Distilled White vinegar

This is without doubt the most common vinegar in the market. It’s quite distinct due to its harsh smell and sharp taste. This is extracted from grain which makes it very clear and crisp.

  • Balsamic Vinegar

With Italian taste, Balsamic vinegar is the only type produced by not fermenting alcohol. It is made from pressed grapes. The zesty and sweet flavor of this vinegar makes it ideal for use in sweet and savory dishes.

  • Red Wine Vinegar

This type draws lots of similarities from the white vinegar only that it is extracted from red wine base. It is sweet, less acidic and can therefore be used in reductions and vinaigrettes.

  • White Wine Vinegar

This tastes milder than the distilled white vinegar. Originating from white wine, it is less acidic compared to apple cider. Its sweetness and lightness makes it ideal for use in soups and salad dressings.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apart from adding flavor to food, this type of vinegar can also be used in food preservation. It is best used in salad dressings, marinades, tea, chutneys and coleslaw.

  • Malt Vinegar

This is the best for use on chips and fish. It is made from barley-made beer making its flavor complex but mild.

  • Rice Vinegar

This has been explained in details above. It has a sweet flavor. Rice vinegar uses are therefore found in barbecue sauces, pickled vegetables and marinades.

These are just a few of the many types of vinegar you will most likely come across in the market; both online and offline markets.

Rice Wine Vinegar Ingredients

  • Rice
  • Lactic acid
  • Fungi
  • Yeast

Homemade Rice Vinegar?

There are a few things you need to know in order to make your own rice vinegar at home.

First, it’s important to use sushi-grade rice. This type of rice is higher in starch and has a lower moisture content, which will produce a more robust flavor in your vinegar.

Second, you’ll need to culture the rice. This can be done by adding a small amount of raw, unpasteurized vinegar to your cooked rice. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 24 hours so that the bacteria can begin to culture the rice.

Third, you’ll need to strain the vinegar. Use a cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain out the solids, and then transfer the vinegar to a clean, dark glass bottle.

And that’s it! You now have homemade rice vinegar that you can use in any recipe that calls for regular rice vinegar. Enjoy!

Benefits And Uses Of Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from rice that has been fermented with yeast and bacteria. It is used in many Asian cuisines, as well as in pickling and making sushi. Rice vinegar has a milder flavor than other types of vinegar, and can be used to add acidity and flavor to dishes.

There are many benefits to using rice vinegar. It is a good source of acetic acid, which has been shown to have health benefits such as reducing cholesterol and helping to prevent cancer. Rice vinegar also contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can help protect against heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Rice vinegar can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used as a marinade for meats and vegetables, or used to make sushi rice. It can also be used in salad dressings, or as a pickling agent. Rice vinegar is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor and acidity to many different dishes.

Can I use rice vinegar instead of rice wine?

These are totally different ingredients that can never be used interchangeably. Their substitutes are as seen in the above sections. Eggplant with Rice Vinegar Sauce Recipe


Rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar are very useful kitchen ingredients made from fermented rice. As you have seen in the explanations above, their production processes are a little different. This leads to two different products that can never be used interchangeably.

That being said, it is important to note where each one of them is used. That way you will know their substitutes as well. Have we addressed most of your questions if not all? What do you think has been left out? Would you mind sharing your thoughts with us?

We would really like to hear from you. Feel free to hit us up through the comment section below.

Thank you! Tannat NYC

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