Morten Grønbæk and colleagues from Copenhagen, Denmark, questioned the effects of beer, wine and spirits on mortality.
They pooled cohort studies in which intake of beer, wine and spirits were assessed at baseline.
13 064 men and 11 459 women followed-up 257 859 person-years.
During 257 859 person-years of follow-up, 4833 participants died.
With a sample of 13 064 men and 11 459 women aged 20 to 98 years, they found a J-shaped relationship between total alcohol intake and mortality at various levels of wine intake.
The relative risk for death from all causes was 0.90 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.99) amongst light drinkers who avoided wine, but those who drank wine had a relative risk of only 0.66 (CI, 0.55 to 0.77).
The same pattern was repeated amongst heavy drinkers - wine drinkers having significantly lower mortality from both coronary heart disease and cancer than did non-wine drinkers (P = 0.007 and P = 0.004, respectively).
The authors conclude that wine may have a beneficial effect on all-cause mortality. The benefit may be due to less death from coronary heart disease and cancer in wine drinkers.