The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS), type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and overall cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a Mediterranean cohort. It consisted of a cross-sectional analysis of a representative sample of Greek adults (n = 4,153) classified as never, occasional, mild, moderate, or heavy drinkers. Cases with overt CHD, stroke, or PAD were recorded. In our population, 17% were never, 23% occasional, 27% mild, 24% moderate, and 9% heavy drinkers. Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower trend for the prevalence of the MetS (P = .0001), DM (P < .0001), CHD (P = .0002), PAD (P = .005), and overall CVD (P = .001) but not stroke compared with no alcohol use. Heavy drinking was associated with an increase in the prevalence of all of these disease states. Wine consumption was associated with a slightly better effect than beer or spirits consumption on the prevalence of total CVD, and beer consumption was associated with a better effect than spirits consumption. Alcohol intake was positively related with body weight, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and hypertension. Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of the MetS, DM, PAD, CHD, and overall CVD but not stroke compared with no alcohol use in a Mediterranean population. Heavy drinking was associated with an increase in the prevalence of all of these disease states. Advice on alcohol consumption should probably mainly aim at reducing heavy drinking.