This vinegar is dark colored, but lighter than black rice vinegar. In any event, you'll never get the two mixed up once you have a taste - red rice vinegar is an intriguing combination of tart and sweet. Red rice vinegar can be used as a substitute for black vinegar - just add a bit of sugar. It makes a very good dipping sauce, and you can also use it in noodle, soup and seafood dishes (you'll often find it in recipes for Hot and Sour and Shark's Fin Soup). Both Pearl River Bridge and Koon Chun from Hong Kong are good brands.