HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Where to buy Shaoxing rice wine?

I'm looking to try my hand at some Sichuan recipes, but I'm not sure where I can buy Shaoxing rice wine as called for in the recipe. I tried my best to look around in Chinatown, but didn't find it in the area immediately near the gate. Does anyone know where I can get some in/near Boston, and if so, any brands you would recommend or avoid?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Any Chinese grocery has it; C-Marts in Chinatown...

    1 Reply
    1. re: galleygirl

      Push comes to shove you can just use dry sherry instead.

    2. as galley girl suggested, C-Mart...or Super 88.

      1. They're definitely in the Chinatown grocery stores. I usually see them in the sauce sections, where they sell soy sauce, oyster sauce, and vinegars, etc.

        1. any asian market should have it. try c-mart, super 88, or ming's supermarket. i've always used pagoda brand with great success

          1. Yes, all Chinese markets carry it....and note that many of the glass bottled kinds are used mainly for cooking, but you can get some which are also suitable for drinking. There's one in particular I use, it comes in a brown ceramic jar with a red ribbon on top, and is very good for both. no English name or writing on it though.

            1. Beware that the Shaoxing sold on the shelves at asian groceries is spiked with lots of salt (so that it can be sold without a liquor license).

              I buy mine at the liquor section of Kam Man these days, I used to get it from 88 in Brighton when they had a liquor counter.

              5 Replies
              1. re: qianning

                That's a very good point. It also pays to keep an eye on what is on the regular shelves. Most are indeed labeled "cooking wine" or have a sticker that says so. In those cases you can look at the ingredients list and see that salt has been added. But every so often you will see some bottles that say nothing about salt or being cooking wine and cost a few dollars more. That's what you want. I have had 100% success doing this. No bottle that I have brought home (and tasted before using it in cooking) has had salt added. This is not specific to any particular store.

                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                  Yes, I certainly avoid buying salted wine! The one I mentioned above is not, and is quite drinkable and tasty. Many of the Chinese groceries seem to skirt the law on this one and sell real wine because no one checks them or would think to drink them (other than people who like Shaoxing). If you feel more comfortable, you can still get the good ones at the liquor store in Chinatown near the gate, they have a few varieties of Shaoxing and a couple that are very good for drinking.

                  1. re: Zatan

                    To Zatan: Can you tell me where in Boston I can purchase the Shao Xing rice wine in the brown ceramic jar with a red ribbon on top - that you mentioned earlier please?

                    1. re: producerdocs

                      Sure, the aforementioned liquor store in Chinatown carries it (also a very good one in a greenish/blue ceramic jar shaped like a gourd). I recently bought a jar at the C-Mart across the expressway from Chinatown as well. If you are buying primarily for drinking I'd check at the liquor store because they may have even better ones for that there (as I know they do in China). Mine is still primarily for cooking with a little tipple every now and then, like a glass of sherry. By the way that liquor store has a pretty good selection of other Chinese "wines" (liquors) for sale, things I don't find anywhere else, and worth a try if you like that kind of thing.

                      1. re: Zatan

                        I had the exact same question as the OP. Based on Zatan's recommendation, I went to the Chinatown liquor store, whose name I learned is Truong Thanh Liquors. They had about ten different Shaoxing wines to choose from. I saw the greeenish blue ceramic bottle mentioned, but I went for a cheaper ($6.50) glass-bottled wine, since I will use this only for cooking.

                        I also checked out the Chinatown C-Mart. but all I could find there were salted Shaoxing wines.

                        In any case, thank you Chowhound posters for this 2009 thread. I'm a newbie to CH, and I'm finding CH threads to have a lot of "shelf life."