★ Publishers Weekly starred review
Wine is a wonderful, lavish, and mysterious gift from God.
Gisela Kreglinger, the daughter of a vintner and trained as a theologian, invites us to discover wine as part of a more full-bodied Christian spirituality. She shows us how the soulful savoring of wine is God's way of wooing us back into a great love affair. Indeed, Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding. Along with bread, wine is the gift we receive at the table of communion. Through these gifts we experience God's glorious and loving presence among us, feeding and nurturing us in body, soul, and spirit.
Wine was never meant just for a small and elite group of well-to-do people but is for us all. Wine can reenchant the world and help us fall in love with it all over again. Come and savor its goodness.
A wine tasting and book discussion guide is also included.
"While there's often a disconnect between spirituality and celebration, in The Soul of Wine Gisela Kreglinger invites us into the vineyard to experience the abundance of God. The daughter of a German vintner, her book heralds cultural healing through God's gift of wine."
"Anyone who loves wine knows that it is the world's most spiritual beverage—a beverage steeped in mystery and transformation. In this deeply personal account, Gisela Kreglinger explores how wine can evoke the divine in everyday life. Kreglinger shares thoughtful musings, examples, and ideas that spiritual wine lovers will find captivating and affirming."
"Here is a wine book that is at once wise, refreshing, and delightful: wise because it draws on a lifetime's Christian reflection on wine and on the wisdom of Scripture and tradition, refreshing because it sets the reader free from all the absurd competitiveness and anxiety of wine snobbery and restores wine to its rightful place at the heart of inclusion and community, and delightful because Gisela Kreglinger addresses the reader with such clarity, charm, and style. This book not only celebrates the soul of wine, it also speaks deeply to the soul of its readers."
"Spirituality and wine are two realms that have been too often reserved for an elite class of devotees and drinkers. To me, this is a tragedy as I consider the fruit of the vine to be one of God's greatest gifts, and artfully made wine to be one of the most profound and pleasurable collaborations between God and humans. I am thankful that in The Soul of Wine Gisela Kreglinger is making both soul and wine accessible and inviting to the expert and beginner alike. Cheers!"
"When I was growing up, my father and two uncles were preachers. For communion, Welch's grape juice was served. Such blasphemous deprivation might explain why I ended up in the business of fine wines. What a joy to find a book that combines divinity and vinity (to coin a word). Believers and nonbelievers will gain new respect for the fermented fruit of the vine. A gem of a book, it is a great read and makes me wonder why some modern religions treat wine as a sin when the Bible so clearly considers it God's gift to man and womankind."
"I read The Soul of Wine with increasing delight and ever deeper emotion. This book offers wisdom not just about wine, but about our souls as well—about the joy, grief, and beauty that shape all of our stories, and that are so intertwined with the making of wine. It will help me drink more slowly and more meaningfully not just from my next glass of wine, but from life itself."
"As much as wine delights and communes its drinkers, it intimidates and divides some as well. In The Soul of Wine, Kreglinger dispels the myth that wine appreciation requires a distinguished palate or an elite vocabulary. Rather she presents wine as a simple gift from God that, when stewarded well, offers a glimpse of creation as it is meant to be."
"Wine saturates the Scriptures. God gave wine 'to gladden the hearts of humanity,' to deepen our understanding and celebration of a redeemed life. Yet many of us, to be 'spiritual' have abstained. Gisela wisely and beautifully shows us a better way. The Soul of Wine opens our eyes, our mouths, and our appetites to learn and taste all that God has so lavishly given. I'm feasting and rejoicing more fully because of it."
"Theologian Kreglinger, who comes from a family of German vintners, delightfully restores mystery, grace, and conviviality to eucharistic practice in this excellent ode to wine."
1. Sensing God in Wine
2. A Joyful Journey to a Spiritual Gift
3. We are Thirsty
4. Wine Is God’s Way of Kissing Humanity
5. Coming Home
6. Making Peace with Wine and Food
7. To Drink Is to Pray
8. Learning about Joy from the Wine Press
9. Convivial Celebrations
10. Wine, Sex, and God
11. Wine, Health, and Healing
12. From Intimidation to Appreciation
13. Awakening the Muse
14. Musings on Community from a Wine Pilgrim
Benediction: Wine as a Blessing
Digestif: How to Savor Wine Soulfully
Discussion Guide and Wine Tasting Tips