Are there any positive benefits to drinking alcohol?

Possibly-low doses. There have been associations (which does not necessarily mean that alcohol is the CAUSE of the effect) between low dose alcohol (up to 2 drinks per day in men and 1 drink in women and men over 60) and improvement in HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), with a lower rate of coronary heart disease/heart attack, which are the major cause of death in the western world. Exercise works even better.