What kind of wine did Jesus serve at the Last Supper?
Patrick McGovern, a specialist in ancient beverages at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, has a few ideas.
Rich, concentrated wines, flavored with spices and fruits, were common in the Jerusalem area 2,000 years ago, McGovern tells Vivino, a wine appreciation site.
McGovern is renowned for his study of ancient vessels that yield clues to the beverages they once contained.
By analyzing chemical residues, he has identified chocolate-based elixirs from long-ago Central America and a honey-tinged beverage from a tomb that is thought to be the final resting place of the father of King Midas.
The Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware relied on his findings to create a modern-day equivalent of the latter, called Midas Touch.
But the Last Supper remains an unknown, noted McGovern, the scientific director of Penn’s Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health.
The wines of the Middle East from that era were commonly flavored with pomegranates, mandrakes, saffron, and cinnamon, McGovern told Vivino.
A better answer would be possible if someone found the vessel in question, he said.
“If someone can find me the Holy Grail and send it to my lab, we could analyse it and tell you,” he said.