cover image The Soul of Wine: Savoring the Goodness of God

The Soul of Wine: Savoring the Goodness of God

Gisela H. Kreglinger. IVP, $16 (144p) ISBN 978-0-83-084584-2

Christian theologian Kreglinger (The Spirituality of Wine), who comes from a family of German vintners, delightfully restores mystery, grace, and conviviality to eucharistic practice in this excellent ode to wine. Many faith traditions believe that a mysterious presence hovers over the winemaking process, urging it on to its divine purpose: to gladden the human heart. But wine snobbery and teetotalism, Kreglinger believes, have taken the joy out of God’s gift of the vine. For her, the temperance-gluttony paradigm in American culture reduces food and wine to a temptation, making meals a battleground instead of a common ground. Kreglinger concludes that this “all or nothing” attitude toward drinking correlates not only to alcohol abuse, but also disconnection from the Earth as the large-scale corporatization of the wine industry has led to family-owned vineyards becoming more scarce. Drawing on biblical lessons and her own memories, Kreglinger invites Christian wine lovers, and also the wine-shy, to reinvigorate the religious aspects of feasting and hospitality. Book groups and supper clubs will savor Kreglinger’s paean to the religious and communal value of drinking wine. (Dec.)