The origin of the name comes from the Arabic and is derived from "guhlu" (powdered galena for dyeing the eyelids and eyelashes). The Arabs called this "kuhul" and it had the meaning of the "most beautiful and finest". The term was then also used for liquids that were considered the essence or "spirit" of a substance. The Arabs will also see the invention of distillation attributed to alcohol (for medical purposes). This is where "al-kuhul-vini" is derived, the finest of wine (spirit of wine). The naturalist and doctor Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus (1493-1541) first used the term "spiritus vini" (spirit of wine) for the result of a distillation, and finally the terms spirit of wine and alcohol became identical. First mentioned in writing was "Alcool" in Germany in 1597.
Alcohols are chemical compounds in which one or more hydroxy groups (hydrogen and oxygen) are directly attached to the carbon. If the molecule contains only one hydroxyl group, it is called monohydric or lower alcohols, contains more, then polyhydric or higher alcohols. Alcohols are among the Organic acids but with very low acidity. In the wine are mainly monohydric alcohols:
Low-grade alcohols are volatile liquids of typical odor, medium-grade alcohols are soapy-oily and higher-quality alcohols are solid, waxy, almost odorless and sweet, From trivalent one speaks of sugar alcohols (Alditole). The most important common feature of the alcohols is the hydrophilicity (water-loving = easily miscible). The decisive role in wine plays that ethanol which is often referred to simply as alcohol. It gets at the alcoholic fermentation from the sugar with elimination of carbon dioxide educated. As a rule of thumb, 10 g of sugar per 1,000 g grape 0.66% vol ethanol. In usually small, harmless quantities come in however Wine and in a slightly larger amount in spirits as by-products of fermentation also toxic fusel oil or fusel alcohols (Begleitalkohole) such as methanol in front.
The individual types of alcohols have different boiling points, which are, for example, 65 ° C. for methanol, 78 ° C. for ethanol and 118 ° C. for butanol. The opposite water significantly lower boiling point of ethanol allows only the distillation of the wine (evaporation of the alcohol long before reaching the boiling point of water) and thus the production of high-percentage spirits, Likewise, by a different boiling point the absolutely necessary separation of the toxic in larger quantities methanol possible from ethanol.
On balancedalcohol content in wine is an important aspect of winemaking, Alcohol has a strong influence taste and Aroma, Alcoholic drinks have a relatively high nutritional value (Fats, carbohydrates). For other wine ingredients, see total extract, The calculation of the alcohol level is below Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAK) explained. A common question is which amount of alcohol is acceptable for health reasons or, assuming regular consumption, is not harmful to health (see below) health ).
See the topic also under the keywords alcohol content. alcoholism. alcohol ban. allergy. diabetics wine. hangover. prohibition. intoxication. Satyricon. drinking culture and Vinotherapie,