Alcohol originally referred to the primary alcohol ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the dominating alcohol in alcoholic beverages. The word has an Arabic origin, meaning “spirit”.
You can get an alcoholic beverage by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables. Wine, e.g., is is a fermented beverage produced from grapes, while beer from grain mash.
Depending on the fermentation timing, you get different beverages. Brandy, for example, produced by distilling wine. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented grains, or vegetables containing starch or glucides, like potatoes.
If you combine alcohol with some essential oil, and then with a syrup of water and sugar, you get a fine liquor. You can use alcohol to make the fine limoncello or chocolate liquor, for instance.
On the table, white or red wine may accompany a dish, as a special drink. But you can also use it in the kitchen, to make a red-wine stew, or withe wine scaloppini.
Fun fact: not everybody know that alcohol has a high caloric content. So, if you’re on a diet, do not drink more than one glass a day. Moreover, the wine benefits on health is an unresolved question. Some studies have found that the polyphenols contained in wine could have particularly protective against cardiovascular disease.