If you ever participated at a Sunday church service in a Catholic church, for example, you probably noticed that, toward the end of the service, the priest is performing the holy rite of Eucharist. Also known as the Holy Communion, the process of Eucharist assumes taking wine and bread from the priest, after they have been consecrated in the altar, as a symbol of Jesus’ body and blood.
The Eucharist comes from the moment where Jesus shared bread and wine with His disciples during the Last Supper, telling them that this is how they should commemorate Him and celebrate His love for humankind.
So, the Sacramental wine is actually the wine that is served during the rite of Eucharist. For the Catholic Church and other Christian churches, this ritual is extremely important, as it reminds everyone about the sacrifices Jesus Christ did in order to save us all. This particular wine is served after receiving the Sacramental Bread and it can be tested only during the holy ritual of Eucharist.
While at first the Sacramental wine was served directly from a special chalice, both by the clergy and laity, as it happened during the Last Supper, these days the ritual is performed by the priest with the help of a sacramental spoon. So, the habit of using the same chalice for everybody to drink out of it stopped, in order to avoid any accidental spilling of the Holy Blood from the chalice.
Also, it is worth mentioning that some churches will not approve the use of real wine during the Holy Communion, especially if children are involved. So, while red wine is still widely used as a Sacramental Wine during this rite, there are churches that will replace wine with pasteurized grape juice.
Another aspect worth mentioning is that not all churches use red wine, which is closer to the color of blood. Thus, in Western Christianity, in particular, white wine is used for this ritual, as a way to prevent the clergy’s clothes from being stained by accident with red wine. Some churches will add a small amount of water when preparing the chalice with Sacramental wine, while others prefer to keep the wine as it is, without adding water to it.
When it comes to the wine used for the Holy Eucharist, it is worth mentioning that only natural wine is approved. This means that the wine should be produced from natural grape juice that was left to ferment in normal conditions, without adding anything else to its composition. So, preservatives, flavors, or any other substances must not be present in the wine that will be consecrated during this ritual.
Still, a very small amount of spirits obtained also from wine, such as alcohol or brandy, can be added to the composition of the future Sacramental Wine, with the purpose of preserving it better during transportation. But, the rule for this is that the amount of added alcohol or brandy should not exceed 18% of the total quantity of the wine. Thus, not every wine gets the chance to become a sacred wine during the most important religious rite of Christian churches.