Thanks to a crazy thought I had the other day about wine, I’m fermenting everything again.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul is sending instructions to Timothy and at one point says “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”
I was considering why wine might be good for the stomach, then it hit me: wine is a live-fermented food.
The wine of the first century would have been a living culture.
The wine we drink now is dead. Sulfites are used to kill off the active cultures before bottling.
Sauerkraut is a wonderful pro-biotic food… if you ferment it yourself. But a can of “Silver Floss” is as dead as a doornail and is worthless for helping your digestive tract.
Likewise, I thought, must be the modern wine we drink. Sure, there could be some benefits to it, but not the active, living, microbial benefits that existed in Timothy’s day long before the advent of microbial genocide by sulfur compounds.
We regularly ferment sauerkraut. We also make yogurt, cheese, kefir and kombucha.
Why not wine?
Some years ago I was on a beer and wine making kick and spent a lot of time fiddling around with it with some mixed results.
This thought on having “live” wine to drink has got me going again. I started by buying a few gallons of grape and apple juice and pitching in a little yeast. I also got a batch of ginger beer going last night. I also dug out my copy of The Art of Fermentation and have been going through some of Katz’ notes on various alcohol ferments. It is truly an excellent book.
Some of these concoctions we’ll drink “young,” others I plan to rack off into bottles and age for a while. This afternoon I’ll probably buy some more raw honey from Judson to use for mead.
Even just sticking a bottle of grape juice on the counter with a little yeast in it makes a decent drink. As the fruits of fall come in, we might be able to do even better than that. We should have some pears soon.
I think Paul would approve.