Sacramental Whine

There are a number of points to consider regarding sacramental wine, but I'm going to try to stick to the issue of single varietals versus blends. This is in response to many throwings down made in the comment sections of this page in reference to my last post. If some of this discussion seems odd please read through those and blame the hooligans responsible. All other errors I claim to be my own, or perhaps my proofreader, but again that is me. Alas.

Single Varietals! Blends! Grape! Strawberry! Beer! Grape juice! Apple Juice! Welch's Harvest Blend From Concentrate! Are they all acceptable for communion? If not why not? If so, why so? In an effort to establish an evil regulatory principle of sacramental wine, one must lay down some laws. So, I'll try, realizing everyone will think I'm a goat, but they'll ask me what they should drink. Alas.

Principle number 1: The Wine is more important than the Grape.

I believe this is a given. While we do not read that the wine at the Table was grape, I think it can be assumed, but not conclusively so, merely from the fact that the Hebrews grew grapes for wine (as did the Canaanites) for numerous generations. There is also some indication that there was a fig wine as well. Grape wine is still made in that area today. What we do know conclusively is that it was alcoholic. This is evident from Paul's warning not to be drunk with the celebration of the Eucharist. Taking that too far, our Welch's brothers have emphasized the color of the drink over the living organism of the thing. Dang, that would have made a great thesis. Bet I would have SCL'ed. Sorta like defending the existence of dragons. Wine is a living organism, a combination of bacteria, grape juice, and tannins from the skin. It ages and matures and eventually goes in to a state of alzheimers and gets worse with age.

Principle number 2: Grape is preferred to Strawberry

If the wine aspect is more important than the grape, I believe we should look to local custom for what is acceptable as wine while at the same time keeping the symbolism of the blood in mind. Grape then is optimal, both for the color symbolism with the blood, but also the symbolism we generate from being in the vine. We, too, are rebirthed with Christ, both already and not yet. Buy partaking one another with the bread and the wine we celebrate unity of covenant in both the suffering and the rebirth. But grape juice is out for this reason. If the life is in the blood and the life is in the wine and there is no life in the grape juice (unless one wishes to carbonize it and put it in a can and call the bubly the Regeneration of the Spirit though still without the alchohol) then we are are to pursue an alcoholic beverage, preferrably red, then preferrably grape, as our wine for the cup. Each brings us a step closer in the symbolism of the cup.

Principle Number 3: Blending is an improper representation of the blood of Christ

If wine is better than grape juice because of principle number one, and grape wine is preferred to strawberry because of principle number 2, then what type of grape wine? White wine is excluded by principle number two as too white. Ignoring principle 2 for a second, we would refuse Boone’s farm without principle. But what does strawberry-raspberry wine say about the sacrifice of Christ? If we blend two different red fruit wines together, we can only be asserting diversity – or non-unity – within the blood of the sacrifice. This certainly is contrary to the spotless lamb. Joffre made a comment that a two varietal blend might represent the dual natures of Christ, but only the human side was sacrificed, unless you wish to follow the doctrine that Christ’s divinity died. I’m not going there, girlfriend, as that would lead to some seriously complicated readings about Christ taking the keys from Satan. Reasoning from exclusion, then, if we exclude blends for their errant representation of the diversity of the Person sacrificed, then we are left with the most sanctified choice: Red Single Varietals. The reasons for excluding blends would indicate why we choose single varietals, namely, we assert the efficacy of one sacrifice of the blood of one sacrificial victim, Christ, as represented in the Cup, and that undiluted and unified.