Wine, beer, cider, brandy, whiskey, rum, vodka, bourbon, stout, scotch, feni, tequila, gin all are alcoholic beverages. That means they contain certain amount of alcohol. But there is difference between all these. The basic difference between these beverages is the raw material used and making process.
Wine, beer, cider and stout are fermented beverage while all the other beverages are distilled beverages
Fermented Beverages: Beverages produced by the process of alcoholic fermentation are called as fermented beverages. E.g. wine, Beer, Cider and mead.
During fermentation yeast consumes sugar to get energy and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. So the process is called Alcoholic Fermentation. Wine is made by fermentation of sugar from fruit. The term wine generally refers to the fermentation of grapes, but technically wine can be made from any sweet fruit.
The wines that have been mixed with spirit to increase alcohol percent are called as fortified wines. Generally grape brandy is used for fortification.
Light wines have 8 to 14% alcohol and it can be white or red, still or sparkling. Fortified Wines generally have an alcohol content up to 20%.
Alcohol has some health benefits when it is consumed in moderate amount, but other than alcohol wine contains Resveratrol and some Antioxidants. The health benefits of wine are mainly due to this antioxidants and Resveratrol. These are useful in treating cardiovascular diseases.
Wine can come in bubbly form like sparkling wine and champagne.
Distilled Beverages: These beverages are produced by the distillation after alcoholic fermentation. E.g. vodka, rum gin, whisky, tequila etc. Distilled beverages are also called as spirit or liquor.
Distillation is the process of separating alcohol and some volatile compounds from wine and beer and leaving behind the heavier compounds like flavor and color. In liquor making, fermentation is a primary process while the distillation is secondary process. The aim of distillation is to concentrate alcohol. In vodka production up to 96% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) is concentrated from the fermented liquid of 5 to 15% percent ABV.
Liquor is often made from grain and malt. It never comes in bubbly form.
Liquor has at least 20% ABV and no sugar added.
If sugar and flavors are added to the beverage, it is called Liqueur.