Divine Wine

Divine Wine

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Wine is the nectar of the gods, said the ancients. And how can we say they were wrong! There was one god for wine, known as Bacchus to the Latins and Dionysus to the Greeks. One must admit that wine and spirituality has been connected for people since the dawn of time. In western culture the presence of man has always been accompanied by the culture of the grapevine. The three monotheistic religions demonstrate it in their depictions of good and of evil. Moses proved himself to be an expert winemaker, bringing the shoots of grape vines rather than the seeds to be transplanted; from here the wine becomes the central idea of the Bible’s geology. It is found again in the Gospels, but its pinnacle is in the episode of the last supper where Jesus offers wine to his disciples: “Jesus took the wine and offered it to his disciples, saying ‘drink, this is my blood.’” In this sense wine becomes a symbol of sacrifice and of sacrificial moments. But as we mentioned, Christianity isn’t the only religion in which wine has played an important role, one that is both symbolic and evocative of its potential and its limits. Some brief examples are the Jewish brothers. Wine, preferably red, takes on particular relevance for the celebration of Shabbat (Jewish Saturday). “Kiddush” is the name that indicates the blessing and the special prayer recited over wine or grape juice on the Friday before Jewish Saturday with the aim of sanctifying the holy day dedicated to the spiritual things. The blessing begins as such, “Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the world, creator of life, etc.”

Let us not forget Noah as well, that myth holds as the first man to plant the vine and that he liked so much: “He drank of the wine and became drunk, and he was uncovered within his tent” (Gen: 9,20). Let us move on to the closely related Islamic religion, where the use of wine is severely prohibited. It isn’t, however, entirely excluded from the sacred text and from the Quran, where one finds that whoever respected the laws of Muhammad was promised the complete satisfaction of carnal pleasures after death, indeed the afterlife: “They will drink a pure nectar, sealed with a moss seal that breathes into those who are worthy…” sura 83, 25-28. Nevertheless, for Islam, wine and alcohol remain forbidden and there is only one prize for the virtuous. Instead of bringing up other gods, we will now leave you with the words of Confucius: “The fault of intoxication isn’t in the wine, but in who drinks it.”