Traditionally, wine tasters judge a wine by six essentials: smoothness, lightness, bouquet, dryness, body, and flavor. Thus a good red table wine, such as Gamay Beaujolais, is dry and soft with a fruity fragrance and only slightly lighter-bodied than the robust Pinot Noir. A good white wine, such as a Chablis, which is preferred for serving with the lighter-flavored meats, would be dry, straw-colored, and medium-bodied with a delicate fruity fragrance and a slight flinty taste. Cocktail and dessert wines include the pale sherries, dry and light-bodied with a slightly nutty flavor, ideal as an apertif, and the choice muscatels, sweet and smooth, best with cakes or fruit. For those who can't decide, of course, a rosé is always safe.
All this is by way of calling attention to a small ( 200 pages ) volume1 which traces the medicinal uses of wine from earliest recorded use as a menstruum
FINE WINE. JAMA. 1964;189(13):1022. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070130042012
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