Originating from Shaoxing city, Zhejiang province, Shaoxing wine is a unique ingredient that amps the flavour of a Chinese dish and leaves you with an unforgettable appetizing taste.

Image credit- Bernt Rostad, Shaoxing Rice Wine, Huadiao, 10ys, bottle and glass, CC BY 2.0


Shaoxing wine is a clear, amber-coloured Chinese rice wine. It is produced by fermenting rice, water and a handful of wheat. It’s fragrant and mildly sweet in taste. If you stay in any of the Shaoxing serviced apartments the likes of Citadines Keqiao Shaoxing, head to a winery in Shaoxing to sample this delectable wine.

Acquiring Shaoxing wine

The best place to buy Shaoxing wine is in Shaoxing itself. Alternatively, you can visit an Asian or Chinese grocery store in your part of town. Try to get an unsalted version for that pure taste. Salted Shaoxing wine serves as an ideal cooking wine, but it cannot be consumed as a beverage.


Shaoxing wine should be stored in a cool, dark area of your pantry. You can also refrigerate it to prolong its shelf life.


The perfect substitute for Shaoxing wine is dry sherry. As an Asian substitute, you can try sake or mirin, but it will not replicate that one-of-a-kind Chinese flavour. Alternatively, if you prefer a non-alcoholic option, try chicken, vegetable or mushroom stock.

Using Shaoxing wine

Shaoxing wine is typically used in braises, as a marinade, or as a flavour boost for soups, meats and stir-fry dishes. When cooking up a char siu or making dumplings, be sure to add Shaoxing wine.