The chapter begins with the words, “Wine is a great mystery and a profound gift.” And while one might think that the Bible would speak against the desire and temptations of wine, it speaks far more of its enjoyment. She write: “Many learned women and men have marveled at this lavish gift of God and have put their delight and gratitude into poetry, song, and reflections. It should not surprise Christians that win features so prominently in the Bible, but it often does surprise people, especially those in religiosu communities that view alcohol in negative terms only.” She points out that the spread of Christianity in western Europe coincided with the spread of viticulture, many monastries specialized in wine production.
Kreglinger maps the origins of viticulture in the ancient near east, Greece, and Palestine. She surveys wine in the Bible, noting claims that it is a gift of God, its use as a medicine and metaphor, and its role in eschatology.
This is a book to read with some pasta, a glass of “rot wein,” and a comfy chair!