We've had a number of questions about Shaoxing wine, including this one. However, I have one that I haven't seen directly addressed either here or on the outside websites I've been able to find:
Is straight dry sherry actually the best substitute for Shaoxing wine? Or would a mix be better?
Details: I live in the US state of Oregon. Due to liquor import restrictions here, I cannot buy real Shaoxing wine; just the awful "cooking" wine. In addition to its low quality, I have to cook for someone on a low-salt diet so salted cooking wine is unacceptable.
The conventional recommendation for replacing Shaoxing wine is pale dry sherry. However, this advice is usually based on the assumption that the asker has no access to Chinese ingredients of any kind. So I'm asking if some mixture of sherry, sake, and/or Chinkiang vinegar might be a better flavor substitute. Since I plan to use this in a sauce where the wine would normally be the majority of the liquid, I'd like to do better if possible.
So, would a mix be a better substitute than straight sherry, and if so, what proportions?