Did Paul Literally Mean that Timothy Should Drink Wine?

In 1Timothy 5:23, Paul exhorts Timothy:
No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities. (1Ti 5:23)

This verse, at first glance, seems to be a deviation from the main context of the passage. In verses above and verses below, Paul is actually talking about rebuking those who sin, in keeping oneself pure, and not laying hands on someone very quickly (as if to condemn, perhaps as the context suggests). The passage is:

Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure.

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.

Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden. (1Ti 5:19-25 NKJ)

Certainly, Paul cannot be deviating from the main thought of the passage when he suddenly tells Timothy not to just drink water for his stomach's sake. The context suggests that Paul is actually telling Timothy to understand when to use water and when to use a little wine, figuratively speaking (with regard to softness of love and hardness of discipline). Timothy seems to be a timid and sensitive youth whom Paul mentored. Often, emotions and appearances may influence hasty judgment. Sometimes, quickness is appropriate; other times, one will need to wait (1Tim.5:19,22,24,25). Sometimes, executing discipline can be like using a little wine. It may feel hard; however, it helps one's stomach. This, by the way, may just be a saying interposed to communicate the importance of discipline. It may not literally mean that Timothy had stomach problems which Paul wants to alleviate by prescribing wine. The context doesn't warranty such an interpretation.

Alcohol was also used as a water purifier.

Geisler, Christian Ethics...
Since good drinking water was not readily available for most people in the first century, purification was necessary. Mixing one part wine with three parts water served this purpose well, but also made for a more tasty beverage as well and offered health benefits for those who drank it in moderation (Tim 5:23).