Paul did NOT mean to drink wine physically here in 1 Timothy: “No longer drink water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” 1 Timothy 5:23
Drinking water means to wash away sins (or dying to sins as in baptism); drinking wine means to do good works. Context agrees: in vs. 24-25 it talks about sins and good deeds. The reasoning is found in John chapter 2, where Jesus turns water into wine. Turning water into wine means resurrecting from death to life. If water symbolizes death (mt 3.16), and wine symbolizes life (jn 2.3), then this fits the context of 1 Timothy: it says that to take hold of what is truly life, we should do good works.
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
The stomach symbolizes the heart (see Matthew 12:40, belly being heart). The heart receives the Lord (Romans 10:9), and the Lord is life (John 14:6), meaning that Timothy needed in his heart life.
A sick heart is deferred of hope, whereas a desire fulfilled is a tree of life (pr 13.12), meaning that Timothy’s hope of life was being deferred. He needs to have good works to take his hope and fulfill his desire. A sick heart may also mean lack of joy (Lamentations 5:15, 17, Jeremiah 8:18).
Paul is saying that Timothy only abstains from evil but doesn’t do good. Abstaining from evil is right, except he needs to move forward. He needs to do good for the sake of his sick, joyless, and unfulfilled heart so that he could take hold of what is truly life, and life means healing, joy, and fulfillment.
Why not the traditional interpretation?
Why not take the verse literally? Well doesn't it seem a little out of context (as in the whole bible) to talk about nutritional benefits of food in the middle of a spiritually related book? Why would something physical be discussed in a spiritual book? Didn't Jesus' disciples get rebuked for interpreting the word "leaven" literally, when it was really leaven of false doctrines? And didn't Jesus' disciples leave him when Jesus talked about eating his flesh and blood, thinking it was literal when it wasn't? Paul in fact said that food wasn't very important, that the kingdom of God does not consist of eating and drinking, and Jesus said that we ought not to be anxious about food because life was more important than food. I think we ought to take things out of the Bible a little less literal and more in a spiritual way.
I am open to more interpretations..