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Difference Between Alcohol and Wine

Alcohol vs Wine
Alcohol is a universal key element in social gatherings. Its unique relaxant and euphoric effect becomes a societal lubricant for people wanting to unwind, socialize and just have fun. It is known by many names. People call it alcoholic beverage or spirits as a general term, beer on more casual contexts, or wine on more formal settings. But do these names mean the same altogether? That is the same question a number of non-connoisseurs have in mind. Nonetheless, we shall answer a more frequently raised aspect of the matter through this essay- that is to clarify the difference between alcohol and wine.
The query is best answered by this logical statement: Wine is always considered an alcoholic beverage but an alcoholic beverage is not always considered as wine. This simply means that alcohol or alcoholic beverage is a general name for any drink containing alcohol, specifically ethanol. Alcoholic drinks are classified into three kinds namely beers, spirits, and lastly, wine. Those that have a lower alcohol content, such as wine, are produced by fermentation of sugar or starch from plant materials, while those with higher alcohol content are produced by fermentation with the addition of distillation process.

Wine entails a longer fermentation and aging process as compared to other types of alcohol. It could take years only to produce an alcohol content of 9% to 16%. As Latin origin ‘vine’ (meaning grape) suggests, is an alcoholic beverage mainly produced from fermented grape juice. There are also other types made from fruit juices coming from apples, cherries, and plums, consequently generating several varieties of the said beverage such as apple wine or elderberry wine, fruit or country wine, barley wine, sake, etc. However grape juice is the preferred raw ingredient in the wine-making process due to its natural chemical balance that allows it to ferment without the aid of enzymes, acids, sugars and other useful agents. What expedites its fermentation is yeast- a key constituent in the production that churns out sugar content in grapes, naturally transforming it into alcohol. Wine varies in flavor as well. Most popular are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, cabernet, Sauvignon, Gamay, and Merlot. In some instances, the term ‘wine’ is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than the production process.

Studies show that wine and other types of alcohol can be beneficial to health, particularly in decreasing risks of cardiovascular complications and heart failure. Moderate consumption of other alcoholic beverages may be cardio-protective, although the association is significantly stronger for wine. Based on statistics, non-drinkers have 2.36 times higher probability of suffering a stroke than regular moderate drinkers. Alcohol consumption in general has also resulted in favorable results in diabetes prevention by lowering blood glucose levels. Lack of moderation in alcohol consumption has its unfavorable results though. Aside from the typical intoxication- evident through slurred speech, delayed reflexes, clumsiness, dehydration and nausea- too much alcohol can cause premature deterioration of the liver and brain. In worst cases, alcohol plays a crucial role in the development of cancer.
Summary

  1. Alcohol or alcoholic beverage is a general term used to refer to a drink that contains ethanol.
  2. Alcohol is a universal societal element used for relaxation.
  3. Wine is a type of alcoholic beverage. It employs a fermentation technique that usually takes longer than that of others’. It is commonly made from grape juice and contains 9% to 16% worth of alcohol.
  4. Moderate intake of wine and other classes of alcohol have been proven to be beneficial in maintaining cardiovascular health. Conversely, excessive consumption may result in short-term effects like intoxication and long-term complications such as liver disease and cancer.

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