Wine is mentioned frequently in the Bible and plays a significant role in many of the stories and teachings found in the text. In the Old Testament, wine is often mentioned in connection with celebrations and feasts and is seen as a symbol of joy and abundance.
For example, in the book of Genesis, wine is mentioned in the story of Noah and the great flood. After the flood waters receded, Noah planted a vineyard and made wine, and it is said that he became “drunk with wine” (Genesis 9:21).
In the New Testament, wine is also frequently mentioned and often associated with Jesus and his teachings. For example, in the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). Wine is also mentioned in the Last Supper when Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples during the Passover meal (Matthew 26:26-29).
Some research studies have demonstrated that several vineyards were present in the neighbouring towns of Jerusalem — a city only 10 km away from Bethlehem when Jesus was born.
Wine plays a significant role in the life and teachings of Jesus in the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus is recorded as turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), and wine is also mentioned in the Last Supper, when Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples during the Passover meal (Matthew 26:26-29).
The Miracle at Cana
One of the earliest miracles reported in the bible is turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana. In the early years of his life, Jesus showed several signs of divinity, earning him followers in various country regions. According to reports, a disciple once invited Jesus and his mother for his wedding in Cana – a small green area in Galilee. Unfortunately, the wine store at the wedding fell short while the guests were still savouring their meals. According to the Bible, Jesus turned water into wine to meet the guests’ needs at the wedding ceremony. It was one of his first widely recorded signs of divinity in the Gospel.
How Did the Wine Taste?
It is difficult to know exactly what wine tasted like in the time of Jesus, as the methods of wine production and the varieties of grapes available have changed over the centuries. However, the wine of the time would likely have been quite different from the wine that is produced today.
In ancient times, wine was often produced using a variety of grape varieties and was often sweetened with honey or other sweeteners. It was also commonly flavored with herbs and spices, such as coriander and juniper.
The wine was also often produced using techniques that are no longer in use today, such as foot-treading or pressing the grapes by hand. This would have resulted in a wine that was quite different in flavour and character from the wine that was produced using modern methods.
Ancient winepress ruins
It is worth noting that the Bible refers to several different types of wine, including red, white, and “new wine,” which was likely a young, unfermented wine. These wines’ specific flavours and characteristics would have varied depending on the grape varieties used and the production methods.
Many people are interested in knowing what the wine tasted like in Cana. Indeed, some historians and researchers have tried finding the slightest hints to assess the wine’s type at the miracle of Cana. It is believed that the wine was not a typical red wine.
According to many accounts, although it looked similar, the taste was quite different and heavenly. Moreover, some historians also claim that wine was not usual for the drinkers. Its smooth and uniform texture made it unique for drinkers of the time.
Did you Know? In early Israel history, grapes were not fermented in closed rooms for long periods. Instead, they were exposed to sunlight to accelerate the fermentation process. Consequently, the produced wine was characterized by a harsh texture and bitter taste.
The Passover Meal
In the regions of Israel, wine was a celebrated drink and was consumed at important festivals and events. For instance, drinking four glasses of wine at a Passover meal is still a Jewish tradition. Each adult is presented with five glasses of wine, and they are supposed to imbibe only four of them, while the remaining one is left for the prophet to drink if he visits their home. The tradition is celebrated to mark the end of Egyptian rule and liberation from slavery for the Jewish people.
Several reports claim that Jesus had his last meal in the Passover week after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which occurred a few days before his crucifixion. According to Corinthians, Jesus’s last meal was bread with wine. It is believed that he drank the wine and distributed half of the bread amongst his apostles. He presented the bread describing it as a part of his body that would stay with them. During the last meal, he also predicted that one of his apostles would betray him.
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
Due to limited information, it is hard to ascertain the type of wines available during the times of Jesus. Moreover, it is also tough to know whether the wines were similar to what we drink today. The analysis of their practices and several accounts shows that the wine might have looked similar in appearance but would have had a different taste.
It was not until the 1100s that regions around Jerusalem started producing wine by using the method of ageing grapes and organizing the fermentation process. Today, Israel has a healthy consumption of multiple wines, especially red wine.