Wine Tasting and the Bible

One of my favourite things in the whole world is enjoying time with friends drinking wine – maybe with some finger foods to munch on. It used to be a few years ago that I could only stand white wine, but with the edging on from my friend Justin, red is now the colour of choice. I won’t pretend to be an expert on wine-tasting. It is something I enjoy, but I can’t really pinpoint the various types of wine and all the information that goes along with it. I do know that a large glass of shiraz is absolutely outstanding while sitting on a street-side patio with close friends.

Pastor, theologian and philosopher Douglas Jones has a helpful article on wine-tasting for us amateurs. In “Enjoying Wine” from Volume 10; Issue 2 of Credenda/Agenda, Jones gives a Bible-laced introduction to wine-tasting. He explains the differenes between table wines, dessert wines and sparkling. He then outlines the use of our senses when tasting wine: sight, smell, taste and touch. It is very helpful.

Sometimes when I give a toast before the first sip I quote Psalm 104:15, “Wine that maketh glad the heart of man.” It makes for a nice reminder of the God who created wine and who allowed us the wonderful ability to taste and appreciate it.


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9 responses to “Wine Tasting and the Bible

  1. Anonymous

    Ian, what would Kirk Wellum think of this post?
    Should Christians drink? I will leave that to you. It is certainly easy for people to say no, and yet support non-biblical teaching. I wonder how TBS and Jarvis St. Baptist Church reconcile their stance on drinking, and yet can allow leaders to behave in an ugodly manner. Hey, you can’t drink, but as a future pastor you are allowed to take a theology course taught by a woman. Did I miss something?

  2. Mark

    Ian. I’m with you. Red all the way.

    Did I ever tell you that Lutheran/Calvinist wine joke?

  3. Ian

    Mark: No you didn’t, what is it? It better be funny.
    We should get together for a nice glass of wine sometime.

    Anonymous: see here:

  4. Mark


    It would be better in person, but then again I’d probably mess it up in person. So.. here it is:

    There are two friends, one is a Lutheran and the other a Calvinist. They get into a dispute over a particularly fine barrel of wine.

    They go to the magistrate and in explaining their perspectives, each one is equally determined that it is rightfully theirs.

    The judge is at first perplexed. Then, in an impressive display of Godly wisdom, he turns to the example of Solomon and says to a court assistant: “Get me a sword we’re going to cut the barrel in half”.

    To the judges astonishment, the ploy does not work. The Lutheran and the Calvinist simultaneously run towards him frantically and both point to the other man, yelling: “The barrel is his. The barrel is his. Don’t cut it!!!”.


  5. Mark Jones

    You’ve not had good wine till you’ve had South African wine. And plenty of it.

  6. Ian

    Mark: good joke. I didn’t get it first – but now I do. Funny.

    Mark: South African wine is outstanding. My good friend John would often bring a bottle of Roodeberg to an outing. I love it.

  7. Mark


    Yeah. The punch line is subtle.

    Its from “Drinking With Luther and Calvin” by Jim West. BTW.

  8. JP

    Dear all,

    For your entertainment/shock/bemusement let me report to you a part of a sermon that I heard by the leading theologian of a certain denomination. He was preaching (I think) on the wedding at Cana, or at least that incident came into the sermon. Then in the midst of the sermon, he stated (with some satisfaction I think) that he was going to prove theologically that the wine Jesus created was not and could not have been alcoholic…yes now I’ve got your interest, he certainly got mine…I paraphrase….

    Jesus, the Son of God could not and would not have created alcoholic wine because alcoholic wine exhibits the signatures of sinful corruption…i.e fermentation is consequence of the Fall and the Son of God would not and could not have created anything that was tinged with the consequences of the Fall. I kid you not. Now I’ll not get into this now but I think he is completely mixed up in his understanding of creation/providence/miracle but with regard to his main thesis he is completely wrongheaded.

    His thesis is of course a complete nonsense and we can easily prove it is nonsense by going to the most famous miracle of all..the feeding of the five thousand….is bread not equally the result of yeast fermentation and yes Christ “miracled” so much of it that there was 12 baskets of left-overs….Ah! some might say the bread was unleavened, maybe, but the fish was DEAD, plain dead, leave it a few more hours and it would be rotten!…what exhibits the consequences of the Fall more than the death of a once living, breathing creature…and yet again Jesus turned a few small dead fishes into great piles of dead fishes!

    Be aware brethren, you may get hit with this argument in the future, maybe it’s not new to you, but it was new to me.


  9. Ian

    At the wedding feast, the best wine is brought out last. This was an unusual occurrence as the cheap wine was brought out later, after everyone was too “in the bag” to notice the swindle. It was a means of keeping costs down for the host.
    What’s marvellous about this passage is that Jesus changes the water not just into wine, but good wine, heavy hitting wine. Those at the feast drank good wine from the host and even better wine from Jesus.
    Does this mean that Jesus condoned drunkenness? Of course not! It could be that Jesus knew that the wedding guests were all good children of God and were not prone to that type of sin. It could also mean that Jesus recognised each person’s responsibility not to sin in such a way.
    What we do know is that Jesus appreciated good wine. If Jesus can have such an appreciation, why can’t His followers?

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