There are many differences between wine and other alcoholic brews, most notably in the content of sugar and alcohol of the drink in question. It is thought that viticulture - the practice and study of producing wine from the very first sapling all the way to the last drop brewed - first took place in Western Asia, before being spread westward by Phoenician and Greek colonists throughout Europe and Africa.
Viticulture experienced an even greater perfusion throughout Europe in the Middle Ages with vineyards appearing throughout Iberia, France and Germany as well as Italy. Not all people enjoyed wine however: for those who could not access grapevines, wine remained a luxury of the nobility even as it was required in Catholic religious services. Japanese and Chinese preferred rice liquor, the Mongols were known for koumiss which was made from fermented mare's milk...whereas in the Islamic Middle East, the consumption of any liquor was considered haram and thus frowned upon.