Altar Wine- What's in a name?

Amber red in appearance with a mild sweet flavour. Used mainly as part of the catholic church’s mass celebrations and traditions, this wine is associated with piety.

What Makes Altar Wine?

Also known as church wine or sacramental wine, the production of altar wine is governed by rules especially considering its main end-use. The main rule is that the wine has to be made naturally; the grapes are left to ferment uninterrupted in a natural process. Besides, the grapes used for the production of wine have to be pure, in the sense that they are not grafted or mixed with other substances. The purity of grapes used for the production of the wine is symbolic to the piety associated with the wine’s end-use.

How it is Made

The wine is made from “pure grapes “ of the vine. Naturally produces grapes are fermented to achieve a sweet taste. The fermentation process is delicate as the grapes should not be left to turn sour and neither should the crafting process be enhanced by the addition of any substances to either alter the taste or process of fermentation.

In the absence of pure grapefruits, raisins are used as an alternative provided that the colour and taste can be judged to be consistent with that of pure grape wine.

Is Altar Wine Alcoholic?

To most people, the answer would be, no. Altar wine is considered by many to be non-alcoholic. This is however a wrong and in most cases a misplaced assumption. The growth and production of pure grapes of the vine required to produce this wine is only done in certain countries, predominantly Israel and Cypress making altar wine an imported product in most countries. Given the delicate balance that the wine must strike to maintain its natural taste and colour, the storage and transportation process of altar wine is delicate. Consequently, to keep the wine from souring or spoiling during storage and transportation, a small quantity of grape brandy or alcohol is added into the wine. The added alcohol when combined with the naturally fermented wine must not exceed 18% per volume of the total content. It is however unknown whether then the only time alcohol is added to altar wine is for preservation during transport, but it is clear that the allowed alcoholic content in altar wine does should exceed 18%. To be honest given the purpose, one would think that is pretty much an exciting percentage. However, the amount of wine used during the traditional mass ceremony is insignificant and thus the alcoholic percentage does not affect the consumers.

Altar wine for Social Consumption

The curious nature of human beings will never cease and a few people have overtime discovered the sweet taste of this rather pious drink. Considering the natural process of producing altar wine, most people enjoy the taste of altar wine as it is naturally unmatched. Thought well stated on the packaging that the content is meant for religious purposes, this does not deter wine lovers from having fun.

So what is really in a bottle of altar wine is a sweet naturally produced drink that you too can enjoy at the comfort of your home if you are a free spirit. It is, after all, just a name given to naturally crafted sweet red wine!

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👏🏼👏🏼 Lovely article. Congratulations Kellen

Kellen Njuguna

Thank you Carole. Keep reading, promise to keep it interesting.

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