Why go Rice? Rice wine vinegar is made from fermented rice, it tends to be much lighter and a bit sweeter than other traditional vinegars. For me this is a great balance for delicate flavors, especially fruits in salads and compotes. In most markets you will find Chinese and Japanese varieties, of the two Japanese is even lighter.
One of the most common uses of rice wine vinegar is in the preparation of Sushi, it is added to the rice for flavor. This is where seasoned rice wine vinegar comes from, they have added sake, sugar and salt. Since most of these ingredients are already in the pantry I like to keep to the more traditional plain rice wine vinegar.
If you are looking for a substitution in a recipe, you can use a half tablespoon of white wine vinegar plus a pinch of sugar to each tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
Here is a great Asian dressing recipe that we use often:
¼ c rice wine vinegar
¼ c soy sauce
¼ c lemon juice
¼ c brown sugar
1 c canola oil
1 T sesame oil
Shake and serve