Sake is often referred to in English-speaking countries as "rice wine"; however, this usage is a misnomer. Sake is produced by means of a brewing process similar to that which is used for beer. Thus, sake is rice beer rather than rice wine.
Alcoholic beverages distilled from rice were exclusive to East and Southeast Asian countries, with knowledge of the distillation process reaching India and parts of South Asia later through trade. Rice brew typically has a higher alcohol content (18–25%) than wine (10–20%), which in turn has a higher alcohol content than beer (3–8%).
Rice wine is much used in Chinese and other East Asian cuisines. A common substitute for it is dry pale sherry