Wine, Wine, Wine!

We’ve turned dying fruit into a durable drink for millennia but only recently understood it. /

We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy! — Ben Franklin

To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of the river of human history. ― Clifton Fadiman

A long, long time ago near the dawn of civilization, someone likely found a jar of fruit juice past its prime. He drank it and probably felt slightly buzzed.

Wine would transform society, including religious life. The Israelites, for example, offered a fermented drink daily to God along with their burnt offerings. And followers of Christ have reverently shared in the cup of wine to remember the sacrifice of Christ’s blood.

Without much understanding of the science until the last couple hundred years, people used trial and error to develop the art of winemaking. Archeologists believe winemaking to be an almost 7,000-year-old tradition. Patrick McGovern, known as the Indiana Jones of ancient fermented beverages, used chemical analysis to date residue inside jars found in the Zagros Mountains in eastern Iran to 5400 B.C. He believes the ancestor of all modern grapes was located somewhere in the region. He calls it the Noah Hypothesis, named for Noah’s priority to plant a vineyard (Gen. 9:20) after landing on Mt. Ararat after the Flood.

Wine needs grapes, of course. But the magic ingredient was too small for humans to see or even know about for thousands of years.

Crushed grapes—seemingly dead, inedible, rotten even—spring back ...

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Also in this Issue

Issue 47 / April 28, 2016
  1. Editor’s Note

    Issue 47: A good, dreadful covenant mark; wine’s life from grapes’ decay; and nature’s remedy. /

  2. Why Did God Choose Circumcision?

    The hopeful, beautiful, and terrible reason for the drastic covenant. /

  3. How Nature Soothes the Soul

    Scientific evidence for the benefits of outdoor recreation. /

  4. The Cranes

    “Where along the migratory way” /

  5. Wonder on the Web

    Issue 47: Links to amazing stuff.

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