Black rice vinegar is very popular in southern China, where Chinkiang vinegar, the best of the black rice vinegars, is made. Normally black rice vinegar is made with glutinous or sweet rice, although millet or sorghum may be used instead. Dark in color, it has a deep, almost smoky flavor.
You need to be careful when it comes to buying black rice vinegars as the quality varies strongly. Gold Plum's Chinkiang vinegar, made with glutinous rice, water and salt, is generally considered to be the best.
Black rice vinegar works well in braised dishes and as a dipping sauce. It can also serve as a substitute for balsamic vinegar.