Q:

Why are they called wine and spirits?

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Quick Answer

Wine and spirits are distinct types of alcoholic beverages. According to the Collins Dictionary, the word "wine" is related to grapevines. Spirits are distilled alcoholic mixtures, such as whiskey and vodka.

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Full Answer

The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the term "spirit," in reference to alcohol, was first used by alchemists to refer to a volatile substance. It clarifies that the use of "spirit" in this way had occurred by the 1670s, while the alchemical denotation can be traced back to the 14th century. Wine, on the other hand, can be traced back to the Latin "vinum," a word that is related to vines and grapevines, the fruit of which is the source of most wines.

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