The word "wine" in our English version of the Bible is called a generic term. That means that it is an umbrella word which covers two different and even opposite things. In the Bible the word "wine" can either mean grape juice or alcohol wine.
An example of a generic term in our own day is the word crow. While we think of individual birds as crows the correct usage of it is as a generic term for ravens, jackdaws, magpies and of course the common black crow. All of these come under the family name of crow making it a generic term but most English speakers do not at all realise this.
The word "Elohim" is first used in Genesis (1:1) for the LORD, the true God. But in Ex.12:12 it is used for pagan gods and in Ps.8:5 for angels. To dogmatically insist that the word Elohim has only one narrow meaning, as many do with the word "wine", would lead to error and confusion.
Also the Hebrew word "ruakh" can mean the Spirit of God, the spirit of a man, or a demonic spirit. Who would dare insist that this wonderful word can only mean God but never a demonic spirit?
We also find that the word “man” as used in the Bible can be generic. Most times it simply means the male but at other times it is used in a generic manner to mean mankind in order to cover both man and woman.
We also find this with the word “meat” as used in older English versions of the Bible as well as older dictionaries and history books. The original meaning of the word “meat” included all foods. We are told that the “meat” John the Baptist ate was “locusts and wild honey” (Mt.3:4). We also read that the left-over’s of the bread and fish which was gathered after Christ’s miracle was called “meat” (Mt.15:37). So in this simple example we see that the term “meat” was once a generic term for all food but now is limited to one aspect of that original meaning.
We say all this because the exact same thing has happened to the word “wine.” At a time it was used in English dictionaries and understood to be a generic term for all drinks produced from the fruit of the vine. It included both alcoholic wine as well as non-alcoholic grape juice. Sadly in the thinking of many today wine is synonymous with alcoholic wine. This is understandable but incorrect.
We must again recover a true biblical understanding of the term "wine" as it is used in the Bible if we are to have a correct understanding of God's thought towards wine and alcohol. Sadly many contemporary believers have failed to realise, recognise and acknowledge that the word wine is generic in the Bible. As a result it has led them into a wrong understanding, teaching and conviction concerning alcohol.