People have different perceptions when it comes to wine. For some, it is a sign of wealth and status. Some think of it as something that has to be consumed with a proper meal such as a medium-rare steak or confectionaries such as cheese. Some consider it as a social aspect and consume it during family or business occasions. And for the rest, just another alcoholic drink without all the pointless context.
It is a beverage that has been around for ages, since the time of the ancient Romans and the Greeks. At the time, the wealthy consumed, shall we say, a more luxurious brand of wine, whilst the middle-class and the poor only had access to ‘cheaper’ brands. Even the church and devout religious practitioners consumed wine considering its religious significance. Everyone had their own category of wine.
There are a considerable few, though, that have a more holistic perception of wine. By that, we mean a godly or spiritual view. Such people disdain from classifying wine as a typical alcoholic drink. To them, it is much more. Again, it boils down from wine’s association with the church. Wine has medicinal virtues, although to be honest, so do other alcoholic forms such as whisky and brandy.
Take the case of Judaism. They have had a relation with wine for an incredible 5000 years! Jewish traditions, such as the Passover Seder and Purim, are deeply associated to bread and wine. Naturally, they preach against overindulgence just like Christians. Even significant events such as circumcision and marriages involve a cup of wine, highlighting the deep symbolism associated with it.
I believe the symbolism arises from the chemical properties of wine. Wine gets better with age, something that is a marketing slogan for vineyards and winemakers. According to Christianity and Judaism, that same property is associated with the human soul or spirit. The soul gets polished and experienced with time and various events that it experiences. An interesting comparison indeed!