What Wine Did Jesus Drink? - Wine Turtle

What Wine Did Jesus Drink?

This post was updated on: February 1, 2020

What Wine Did Jesus Drink?

What Wine Did Jesus Drink?

There has been no greater diversity or controversial points of view in Oenology than “the study and science of wine and the production process(es) involved.” The main question that arose? What wine did Jesus drink?

This is a subject of debate in conversations amongst consumers of various wine products and the populace at large, but also amongst wine experts.

Many have debated if Jesus really drank wine or whether it was some sort of alcohol that he had; or even if wines were beneficial to the human health.

Many spent time debating the taste, or the raw ingredients in various wine types and none of these has ever surpassed a conversation based on the happenings of “The Last Supper” wherein it was stated evidently that Jesus consumed wine.

From the first mention of wine in the Christian religious texts to our daily usage of wine and its related words, it is, without doubt, evident that many have contrasting views to this.

Could Jesus Have Drank Wine?

Unlike what would keep many of the Christians debating if taking wine was a sin or against their religious belief or not, we would take another step towards a dynamic form of exploration and take a close look at the ever-controversial topic.

The earliest mention of wine dates to about 7000-5500 BC when they were made from turned grapes (otherwise known as fermented grapes).

Many believe that Georgia, Iran, Sicily, Greece, and China housed earlier evidence and mention of Oenology than any country in the world. Red wine was related to blood by the earliest Egyptians and also prevalent among the Greek cult of Dionysus, the Bacchanalia Romans, and even the Judaist incorporated it into their Kiddush (a form of sanctification, a blessing recited upon wines).

Armenia is home to the oldest-known winery which was discovered in the “Areni-1” cave in Vayots Dzor dated back to c. 4100 BC.

The essence of taking a sneak peek at a little bit of the historical background of wines and one or two related things is to have a foreknowledge of the basics or to put ourselves in the concise understanding of what was known about wines before the time of your favorite Bible character.

Since no one alive was present at the Lord’s last supper to  state the exact wine Jesus had with certainty, what’s left of curious reader like you and I is to put together precise information from various sources and come to a conclusion on what will probably be the best we can come up with as the wine Jesus had.

What Wine Did Jesus Drink?

wine jesus

Without a doubt, the grape is an essential ingredient in early winemaking, as it was stated in all of the archaeological evidence that dates back from thousands of years before the birth of Jesus. There is no jumping time, and there is no moving beyond what there is, the importance of this statement is to mean Jesus couldn’t have had anything different from the ordinary, he would have had the same wine present around the time that the Jewish population drank too.

So, taking a careful study of that era might be a step towards an accurate answer. Wine, as it stands in Hebrew, has quite some words attached to it (oinos, yayin, tirosh, chamar, and shakar). The Hebrew Lexicon or the Hebrew dictionary refers to yayin  as mixed wine; the Jewish Encyclopaedia refers to oinos as wine, tirosh as new wine, chamar as something that has undergone fermentation and finally shakar as strong drink.

However, the root word for all these variances means to be drunk. During Jesus’ lifetime, the traditional process of making wine rests solely on grape fruit as sated earlier, unlike in modern days winemaking industries wherein advancement in technology has had its effect on the production process and even the storage.

Cup of wine and bread on table close-up

Then, the grape fruits were harvested, and the best of the fruits were selected for wine production. The selected grapes were crushed in wine a press which was in existence as early as the 16th century although crushing was done by stomping the grapes with feet before the introduction of the wine press.

Due to the natural components of the grape fruit, after crushing, it would usually ferment from the yeast present in the atmosphere. As you would expect, it is easier to refer to fermentation now, but then in those ancient times where they had little knowledge about what was going on, what was noticed that the longer the wine served had been preserved, the more intoxicating it became.

These wines were stored in wineskins, and this was seen in one of Jesus’ teachings when he said “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins” if they do, the wine will be spilled as the wineskins will burst.

A wineskin cannot survive the fermentation process alongside the gases produced from it twice, so a new wine always required a new wineskin. However, the grape juice can be fermented with bacteria (fruit flies with acetobacter on their feet), and this produces vinegar ultimately.

Religious experts, Patrick Edward McGovern, Scientific Director At The University Of Pennsylvania Museum In Philadelphia, known famously as the Indiana Jones of Ancient Ales, Wines and Extreme beverages and Father Daniel Kendall, of the San Francisco University, after much study into historical evidence and facts gave an educated guess alongside many other events. The wine Jesus had would have been similar to the modern day Amarone; a red wine produced majorly in Italy as expected from grapes that have been especially dried (raisins) before putting them to use or undergoing fermentation.

There are a few noble variants of Amarone, and you could lay your hands on any of these to have a taste of what Jesus had.

Bottom Line

So, in simple terms Jesus drank fermented grape fruit juice, just like you and I. Now, next time you’re caught up in a conversation, you have been provided with enough details to convince any of your friends. Or you could start the conversation and boast of the knowledge you have about what wine did Jesus drink.

About the Author

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love of wine and interest in anything related to it ever since he was a little kid. Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it and has been addicted ever since. Having traveled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa and tasted a large selection of their wines, it is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here and take you along on the journey.

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