Is Rice Wine a Wine or a Beer?

Have you ever wondered about Asian rice wines, like Japanese sake or the Korean soju? It’s easy to think of such drinks as wines, as that’s how we commonly refer to them, but their true nature is a bit more difficult to pin down. Indeed, nobody can really say whether such liquors are truly a wine, or more like a beer.

In truth, rice wines have qualities similar to both wine and beer. The fact that they are brewed from a grain makes them more akin to beer. Further, while many conventional wines are best when allowed to age for a number of years, rice wines are generally best when consumed within a year after bottling. On the other hand, drinking rice wine is more reminiscent of drinking fruit-based wines, in that they are non-carbonated and feature an alcoholic content that is higher than conventional beers.

If you must attach a label to rice wine, feel free to make your own call at Seoul Hot Pot. Our Bellevue Korean restaurant offers both Japanese-style sake and Korean soju, either of which can make for a delicious complement to your Korean meal.