sign in   |  sign up

Common errors > wine  noun [U]

 printer-friendly version

Incorrect or non-standard usage, overuse etc.

At the party we will have soft drinks and wine.

The problem

Misuse of the word wine to mean alcoholic drinks in general.

Wine is only one type of alcholic drink. It is normally made from fermented grape juice, although it can be made from other fruits and vegetables, in which case the fruit or vegetable from which it is made is included in the name:
elderfolower wine, blackberry wine etc.

Wine is normally red, white or rose and can be dry or sweet, dry being far more common.

Wine usually has a strength of around 12 - 15% alcohol by volume.

Other types of alcoholic drink are beers made from the flowers of the hop plant and having a strength of around 3 - 5% alcholol by volume (common brands in Hong Kong: Carlsberg, San Miguel, Heineken); and spirits, which are made by a process of distillation and contain around 40% acohol by volume. Common examples are whisky, gin, brandy and vodka

Note An inexpensive Chinese spirit is commonly sold in supermarkets and convenience stores in Hong Kong under the name rice wine. However, 'wine' is not the correct term. It is a spirit.

Standard English

We will have soft drinks and alcoholic drinks

Or, more elegantly, in written English:

There will be a selection of wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks.

Back to common errors index