Thursday, December 11, 2008

True Wine Lover 4.

"They have no wine". John 2:1
In keeping with the Advent season I thought I would pay homage to perhaps the greatest winemaker of all time. No offence Vinomaker!
Most people have heard the story of how Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. His mother was mortified that the guests had run out of vino, (much as my mother would encourage me to nip down to the cellar and open another case, or two), and urged her Son to do something about it. Voila! JC's tenth miracle.
What I hadn't heard of, until fairly recently, was that there are people out there that insist biblical wine was non-alcoholic and mis-translate the Greek word oinos as...grape juice. As if the ancient Palestinians had forgotten the art of wine making passed on by the Greeks! At least the naysayers, with their heads in the sand, would like us all to think so. All those amphorae, regularly unearthed in archaeological digs, must have contained Evian water.
Now Vinogirl likes a bit of chemistry and marvels at the little miracle that happens almost as soon as grape juice introduces itself to the native yeast on the grape skin. Fermentation, and it's byproducts, numero uno being alcohol, (CO2, SO2, H2S etc.), is going to happen with the intervention of a winemaker or not. These ancient people did not have the means to arrest fermentation, by using copious additions of potassium sorbate, or the technology to remove yeast, sterile filtration, or alcohol, reverse osmosis, so it is without a doubt that biblical wine got people tipsy.
Thank God I am Catholic!!! We imbibe. Take no notice of religious fundamentalists, science is good.
So please, "use a little wine for thy stomach's sake." Timothy 5:23. And people, wine happens!

6 comments:

Thud said...

"Thank God I'm Catholic"...yes..he probably did have something to do with it!

Vinomaker said...

Actually oinos refers to both fermented and non-fermented grape juice but given it was a wedding and reports were that the guests were "well drunken" (KJB), why would they ask for the non-alcoholic version? The amount that Jesus made on the spot is impressive, some 150 gallons or 4,800 glasses. Given that a large gathering might have been about 500 guests, I would guess that amount would have kept the party going well into the early morning hours with an amphora or two left over. So, if he could do that, I am assuming the quality was as great as reported as well and it was a perfectly balanced and delicious wine. This can all be settled when we find his wine making journal. Until then, I remain skeptical and will stick with my 18 month protocol and wood barrels.

Thud said...

I think you need a large glass and a nice lie down.

Vinogirl said...

Vinomaker when did you go Greek on me?

Vinomaker said...

Fortunately I don't have to taste those old Greek wines but having to dilute them with water and add spices to cover up the spoilage really makes a case for that instant Cana conversion. If you believe the critics, Screaming Eagle approaches that perfection but at a higher price point and it doesn't even come in an amphora. I think I will stick with reality and just pull the cork on a bottle of the 2004 Cab Franc before my nap!

Thud said...

04 cab franc and a nap...in Napa...how good is that!