The most obvious substitute for rice wine (also called mijiu) is another kind of wine. If your recipe calls for Shaoxing, an amber rice wine, The Spruce Eats recommends swapping in a sherry, a fortified wine made from white grapes. However, if your recipe calls for a white rice wine, gin makes for a better substitution, because it resembles the flavor of white rice wine more than sherry does.
Don’t have sherry or gin? If you have a dry white wine in the house, then you might still be in good shape. Though the flavor differs from rice wine, dry white wine can be substituted in marinades as a last resort. If you’re making a stir fry, then apple juice or white grape juice can work in place of rice wine; although, it might make your stir fry a bit sweeter (via The Spruce Eats).
Whatever you do, don’t try to use rice wine vinegar as a replacement for rice wine. Rice wine vinegar is acidic, unlike rice wine. This means, if you were to try to swap rice wine vinegar for rice wine in a stir fry recipe, instead of having a scrumptious meal at the end, you could just be left holding sour grapes.