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Thursday, November 29, 2007

One of Life's Mysteries - Strong Altar Wine

I don't know what the altar wine is like at your church, but at mine we use Cribari. This "stuff" and I use the word with caution, is high in alcohol volume - well up over 20%. MOST table wines have an alcohol content of 9%-11%. It's not just this brand either, over the years we've used other brands, but the alcohol volume is particularly high. I've been filling cruets for about 33 years now -- and I'm jiggered if I know why the alcohol content is so high, comparatively speaking. Is it so strong to guarantee any germs being killed off? Why so? Inquiring minds wanna know.

(My private speculation is it's so strong to keep the altar servers from even *thinking* of swiping any.)


ArchAngel's Advocate said...

20% sounds like a fortified wine (ie. alcohol added or distilled) which would be a no-no. The website lists port as one of their varieties which I believe is also a no-no (I sound like a little kid!) But since I don't know how they make the wine (and the fact that their diocese has OK'd it is no guarentee). Also wines can be tricky (I attended Mass at one very concervative convent in San Francisco where the variety they used tasted like a berry win, but it wasn't). (I've always wanted to use cream sherry but that is also a no-no! :-(

gemoftheocean said...

Well, the variety we get for Mass is 100% made of the grape and approved. It's not just this brand of wine, I've seen that to be the case in many instances. Typically I see from 19-22 percent or so. Back when I was in college and first assisting in the sacristy it was one of the first things I noticed.


Anonymous said...

Some approved altar wines are fortified. Of course, altar wine is required to be pure grape wine. Pure grape brandy is used to fortify the wine, thus being appropriate.

gemoftheocean said...

Thanks, anon!

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