Theology In The Bottle: Where Cana Meets the Cross is a series of 30 reflections inspired by Scripture verses that all relate to wine, grapes, the winemaking process, etc. This devotional includes journal pages. Schreck does an amazing job finding applicable lessons and relatable stories from all the aspects of wine, grapes, and from Scripture.
In the King James version of the Bible, the word “wine” is mentioned 231 times. The growing of grapes and winemaking are used as metaphors for understanding life. I’m very impressed with how Schreck used the various aspects of wine, grapes, and even the Eucharist in her reflections. Wine is used in many meals, so anecdotes about gathering around a table are also used.
In the Preface, Schreck starts off with Jesus’s first public miracle, the wedding at Cana. “You could say it was through wine that He became accessible to the laity.” She also had a reflection question in regards to Mary’s role at Cana: “Did she know that by asking Jesus to perform that miracle, that she was ushering in the chapter of His public ministry? Did she know that she was hastening His Passion?”
Even the process of growing grapes is used as part of this series of reflections. Reflection nine talks about what it takes to grow grapes with the right sweetness or acidity. “For the purpose of ripening, what the grapes need is warmth, more than actual light. In fact, too intense of sun exposure can scorch a grape, resulting in off-flavors.” Schreck has done a lot of effort into researching all things relating to growing grapes, winemaking, and the cultures that embrace winemaking.
While I love that the author is Filipino, I think it would have been interesting to see the author explore wines and winemaking from other cultures, such as Japan. It would have been a great way to show how people from cultures outside of Europe and America could understand all the winemaking metaphors.
I recommend this book of reflections for people who like to go out for winetasting with friends as well as people who use wine regularly at mealtimes. I also recommend this book for those who are into growing grapes and have a great devotion to the Eucharist.