Instructions for the service of wines

... to lay down rules for the guidance of the palate. Thus there are some who delight in the perfumed yet austere bouquet of Bordeaux, while others prefer the delicate fragrance of Champagne; some give the palm to the generous and mirth-inspiring powers of Burgundy; while the million deem that Madeira (when genuine), Tort, and Sherry, from what are termed their generous natures, ignoring the plentiful admixture of alcohol, are the only wines worthy of notice.

All these tastes are no doubt well enough founded on good and sufficient reasons, and may prove safe indicators for the preservation of health:— for instance, a person of sanguine temperament feels a necessity for a light sapid wine, such as genuine Champagnes and Rhenish wines; while the phlegmatic seek those of a more spirituous, generous nature—Burgundy, Port, Madeira, or Sherry.

Those who are a prey to spleen— lowness of spirits— melancholy— are prone to select, as a sure and pleasant remedy for their frightful ailments, the wines of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Roussillon, and Burgundy.

The bilious, who generally are blessed with a good appetite, provided always that they do not smoke, require a generous wine, which, while capable of acting both as an astringent and a dissolvent of the bile, is of facile digestion; such are the properties of all first-class Bordeaux wines.

Bordeaux is said to be a cold wine; this false notion arises out of mere prejudice— nothing can be more contrary to truth: this health-restoring wine, as I have already stated, is of easy digestion, and possesses, moreover, the advantage of being very considerably less inebriating than any other first-class wine. In short, Burgundy is exciting, Champagne is captious, Roussillon restorative, and Bordeaux stomachic.

It now remains to show the order in which the several sorts of wines, enumerated above, should be served at table. Custom and fashion have ever had more to do with this practice than any real consideration for health or taste.