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Medicated Wines

These are wines containing medicinal drugs, and are typically represented by the six medicated wines of the British Pharmacopoeia, namely, Antimonial Wine, Colchicum Wine, Iron Wine, Wine of Iron Citrate, Ipecacuanha Wine, and Quinine Wine. The basis may be either a foreign wine or a British wine; thus of those in the above list the preparations of iron citrate and quinine are made with orange wine, and the others with sherry.


A number of wines are sold which contain small quantities of meat extract or malt extract, or both. These are frequently referred to popularly as " medicated " wines, though they contain no medicines, but only nutriments, as the added substances. Such articles are not regarded as medicated wines by the British revenue authorities. To come within this category the wine must contain a medicinal drug, or drugs, and in such proportion that the wine is essentially a medicine. Thus a " Meat and Malt Wine ' is not a medicated wine, but a " meat and malt wine with quinine " is so, provided that the proportion of quinine is equal to that in the official "Quinine Wine," namely, 2 grams in 875 c.c, or 1 grain per fluid ounce, calculated as quinine hydrochloride. Further, the wine, if necessary, is required to be made too unpalatable for use as a beverage. Thus coca wine must contain not only a certain proportion of coca alkaloids, but also a sufficient quantity of the extract of coca leaves to render the article unpalatable, if, for revenue purposes, it is to be regarded as a "medicated " wine.

The proportion of alcohol in medicated wines is, in general, substantially that in the wine used as basis, since the. medicaments do not, as a rule, greatly alter the volume of the wine. Quinine wine contains about 23 to 28 per cent. of proof spirit (13 to 16 per cent. of alcohol by volume), and iron wine about 26 to 32 per cent. of proof spirit (15 to 183 of alcohol by volume). The more popular brands of "meat and malt" wines are usually made with fortified red wines, and contain about 29 to 34 per cent. of proof spirit (166 to 195 of alcohol by volume). Wines containing much tannin are not very suitable for medication with quinine, as a precipitate of quinine tannate is deposited during storage. In such cases it is better to use "detannated "wine - i.e., wine which has been treated with gelatin to remove excess of tannin.

The analysis of medicated wines follows the lines already indicated, so far as may be necessary, supplemented by a determination of the medicaments present. It will suffice to give one or two examples of the latter estimations.

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