Food & Wine How-to Guides

How To Make Rice Wine

Rice wine can be enjoyed both as a drinking wine or a cooking wine. It’s easy to make at home with this recipe.

What is Rice Wine?

Whereas most popular wines are crafted from fruits, rice wine is made from fermented glutenous rice. The process involves yeast that transforms the sugars into alcohol over time.

Some varieties of rice wine are consumed as alcoholic beverages, while others are regularly used for cooking Chinese dishes. Rice wines are usually sweet in flavor and aroma.

The most popular rice wines are Shaoxing, which is a Chinese rice wine, Mirin, a sweet Japanese rice wine, and sake, a dry Japanese rice wine.

How to Make Rice Wine


  • 2 cups of sweet rice or sticky rice
  • 1 wine yeast ball, also known as qu (pronounced chu), jiuqu, or jiuyao (often written as chiuyao)


Rinse the rice and boil in 3 cups of unsalted water. When the rice is cooked according to package instructions, spread the cooked rice on wax paper and allow it to rest until cool enough to handle.

Beat the yeast ball into a fine powder and sprinkle it over the warm rice. Mix the rice with hands to combine powder and rice. Place the mixed rice into an airtight container and keep warm at about 100-110°F in the oven.

After 2 to 3 days, the wine will begin to accumulate at the bottom of the container. Allow the mix to continue to ferment for another 2 to 3 days. Strain and refrigerate.

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