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Shao Xing rice cooking wine is the most important ingredient in many recipes in Chinese cooking. Use it in any marinade, soup or sauce. Add an unmistakable authentic Chinese flavor and fragrance to your Chinese dishes. You will find it used in most Chinese recipes. It is a rice wine, with taste close to Japanese sake.It has a savory, nutty, mushroomy, olives, tree bark, oxidized flavor. Add to Asian dumpling fillings, to marinades for roasted meats (char siu pork), or add to seasonings for stir-fries, or simmer with soy sauce and jaggery in Chinese red-cooked dishes. The most commonly used type of chinese cooking wine is called Shaoxing (also Shao Hsing) which is a grade of yellow liquor brewed directly from fermented grains such as rice, millet, or wheat and is not distilled.
Shao Xing Wine is in the top 10 most important ingredients in Chinese cooking, some claim it's second only to soy sauce.
More about Shao Xing ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaoxing_wine