Rice wine is a word some people use to talk about alcoholic drinks. However, it is not a true wine, despite the name. True wine is made by fermenting grapes, and perhaps other fruit. In rice wine, the starch in the rice is first changed into sugar. This sugar is then fermented. This process is more like the fermentation as it is done in beer.
The rice wines made in this manner have more alcohol in them than normal wines (18–25% alcohol compared to 10–14% for normal wines). Beers on the other hand usually have 4–8% alcohol in them.
Many people use the term rice wine to refer to sake (which is just one variant of many different kinds of rice wines).