Rice Vinegar: What is the difference between rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar?

rice vinegar 2Angelia recently e-mailed the Kitchenshrink to ask, “What is the difference, if any, between rice wine vinegar and rice vinegar?” There really isn’t much difference between rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar and they can certainly be used interchangeably in a recipe. To make rice vinegar, rice is fermented until it becomes wine and then fermentation is allowed to continue until it becomes vinegar. When a vinegar is labeled rice wine vinegar it could have been made the same way or made from the lees left over from making Saki. There are some differences in flavor and sweetness between different brands of either vinegar.
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