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The points Dr. Druitt endeavours to establish are three. First, that " natural" wines are superior to those partially fermented and hyper-alcoholised liquids to which, under the name of Port and Sherry, the British palate is now accustomed. Second, that the French natural wines—Claret, Burgundy, &c.—can be obtained good for drinking at low prices, i. e., from eighteen pence to half-a-crown a bottle. Third, that wines from other countries—notably, Greece and Hungary—are deserving of an extended use among us.
The first of these points we may leave Dr. Druitt to discuss with the conservatives—who were themselves once, as he felicitously shows, revolutionists—in this matter. Upon the second we think that few will disagree with him who have tried the "cheap wines" as he has done; we only complain that he has so narrowed the limits of our choice. He has not, we think, made sufficient mention of the white wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Chablis may be a trifle too hard aud cold; and the better white Burgundies— as Mont Rachet—are hardly cheap wines; but Sauterne is an almost perfect wine, and can be got very good at two shillings a bottle. The same may be said of the white wines of Germany; still Hock and Moselle are wines that have few competitors, and are so abundant as to be procurable at very low prices. We have drunk very tolerable specimens of these wines (from the Messrs. Gilbey) at fourteen shillings the dozen, and for twenty-four shillings they can be obtained anywhere of as good a quality as for daily use could be desired.
Our only reason for noticing Dr. Druitt's third point is, that we ourselves have gone over much the same ground as himself, and so can add our experience to his own. We will take the new wines in order.
1. Greece.—We have drunk eight of the wines imported from this country by Mr. Denman, of Abchurch Lane, and have noted as follows concerning them.
Red Keffesia (20*.).—Claret character, but very rough and astringent; even mixing with water does not soften it. Do not like it.
White Keffesia (20s.).—Sauterne character and colour, but very inferior to its type. Tolerable.*
Thera (24s.).—A Sherry like wine; soft; rather nice.
S. Elie (28s.).—Like " South African" Sherry, minus the added brandy.
Santorin (24s.).—A dry and astringent red wine; not pleasant.
Ambrosia (30s.).—Sherry character, but sweet; coarse and strong: could not finish the bottle.
Calliste (24s.).—Of the same character, but much pleasanter.
White Patras (16s.).—Sauterne type; has a strong and disagreeable flavour, which some call tarry, f
Ou the whole, then, we are unable to confirm Dr. Druitt's favorable account of the Greek wines. They are certainly not luxuries; and for ordinary use, France, Germany, and Hungary afford us an amply sufficient variety.
2. Hungary.—Of the Hungarian wines our experience enables us to speak in much less qualified terms. Their nomenclature and relative value seem at present in a very unsettled state. Let it be understood, then, that in speaking of their character we refer to them as named and priced by Mr. Denman. We have drunk the following:
Hungarian Chablis (16s.).—A capital white wine, of deep straw colour, fuller and richer than its Burgundian namesake; the cheapest wine for goodness that we ever tasted.
Villany Muscat (24s.).—A very pleasant wine, closely resembling a still Moselle.
Dioszeger Bakator (30s.).—This wine resembles Hock as closely as its predecessor does Moselle; but a twenty-four shilling Hock is quite as good as this at thirty.
Szamorodny (42s.).—We were much disappointed with this wine, in spite of its lofty title of "Dry Tokay/' and its comparatively high price.. It has no peculiar or high character, and is not worth half the money.
* This note was made on first tasting the wine; but on opening a bottle a few days ago, after our palate had become accustomed to the light wines of France and Germany, we felt inclined to change the verdict to " intolerable."
t There is some reason to believe that the Greeks dissolve rosin in their wines to make them keep better. If so, this would account for the occasional presence of a taste like that perceived in white Patras.
These are white wines, and now as to the red—
Visontaere (20s.).—A very light Claret; soon souring on heing opened.
Ofner (24*.).—More like the wines of the South of France; too heavy and sweetish for our taste.
Carlowitz (28s.).—A Claret, with a slight chalybeate flavour; not a nice wine for ordinary drinking, but found highly restorative by convalescents.
Erlauer (30s.).—A delicious wine; something between Claret and Burgundy, and better than either at the price.
Besides these we have lately tried some of Max Greger's Hungarian wines, of which we have noted as follows:
Carlowitz (32s.).—A much finer wine than Denman's at 28s.; as agreeable as it is found beneficial.
"My own Growth" (42s.).—This is a Burgundy-like wine of high character; but spoilt to our taste by a scented flavour as if rose leaves had been infused into it.
Ofner (36s.).—Quite worth the extra 12s. above Denman's price; a full-bodied wine, more like Beaujolais than any other we know.
Somlau (26s.).—A white wine, looking and tasting like Sherry, and with too little of distinctive flavour to please us.
CEdenburg (36s.).—This, on the contrary, is a superb white wine, with a taste and bouquet quite its own; if anything, reminding one of Bucellas.
We have also drunk two bottles of sparkling Hungarian wine from Max Greger's at 54s. The first was red, and too sweet; but the white variety is unexceptionable, and greatly superior to Champagne at the same price. Lastly we have just tried Denman's Badasconyer (24*.), which we omitted in our first essay; it is a neutral wine, nothing to complain of, but nothing to praise.
It will be seen from the above that the Hungarian wines are a real addition to our materials for choice in this quarter. The new commercial treaty with Austria will in all probability lower their price ere long; and as we are assured that the country yields four hundred millions of gallons annually, there is no likelihood of the supply falling short.
We make no apology for introducing these matters into the pages of a Medical Journal; the diet of our patients must always be a matter of primary importance, and the fluid constituents of the daily food are of no less consequence than its solids. These "natural" (i.e., thoroughly fermented) wines supply a want which has been long felt. There are thousands of stomachs that cannot bear beer and the ordinary wines because of the sugar they contain. If the owners of these unruly organs cannot content themselves with water, they usually drink brandy. To them and to us it would be felt a real relief if we could recommend and they could take something less objectionable. Now this something we have in pure wine. It contains no sugar, and hence causes no acidity; it forms, with water, by far the best and pleasantest beverage for the healthy; and there is nothing like it—especially in the forms of Claret and Hock —for cleaning a foul tongue and sharpening a languid appetite among those who are sick. We believe that the discovery of the terra incognita of light wines will be to many, as to ourselves, a large addition to their own enjoyment and to their means of aiding those who are under their care.
Sabina in Amenorrhea and Anccmia.
Miss S. P—, ret. 25: May 15th, 1865. Has been ill two years, during which the menses have been entirely absent; there has been no leucorrhcea, nor any uterine symptoms, but the general health has failed; she has become pale and anaemic; suffering much from irregular circulation, causing palpitation on the least exertion. Rush of blood to the head even on raising her head from the pillow, with severe vertigo; roaring in ears and sense of faintness; the appetite is fair, but muscular power very small. The feet and legs feel very heavy, and swell somewhat when sitting. Bowels regular, and urine normal. During the following six months she gradually but very slowly improved under— Oelseminum, Puis, of various potencies from 6 to 30, Sulph. 30, Sep. 30, and Natr. Mur. 12. Still she continued weak, and there was no sign of menstruation being re-established. The anaemia was less, and the circulation was more regular; but the whole uterine system seemed perfectly torpid. I then gave the first centesimal trituration of Oleum Sabince, of which she took at first two, then three grains daily; and I continued this steadily from October 25th, 1865, to January 3rd, 1866, with very great benefit. Her general health was much improved; she had increased in strength, the anaemic symptoms were nearly gone; in fact, she felt quite well; still there were no signs of menstruation. I then ordered Natr. Mur. 30, one drop night and morning for a fortnight, and just as she was finishing the course the menses returned normally, and lasted four or five days.
* We are glad to learn that Dr. Madden's health is now completely restored, and that he is on his way home to this country, to settle, we understand, in London.
In this case I am inclined to credit the Ol. Sabince as the chief remedy, seeing that her general health was so manifestly benefited thereby. At the same time Natr. Mur. 30 evidently gave the finishing touch; and though it is possible that had the 30th potency been used in place of the 12th before the Sabina was given, the effect might have been equally good, still, the change in her general health which occurred during November and December leads me to doubt whether it would have succeeded.
Baptisia in Enteric Fever. By Dr. Madden.
I have had repeated opportunities of testing the virtues of this drug in the peculiar form of fever which occurs in this climate. The fever is an adynamic gastric or enteric fever with many resemblances to the Edinburgh relapsing fever; like it relapses are very frequent, and the disease is often prolonged in conse