by Fred McMillin
for April 22, 1998

It Took 20 Years


Libations of wine were common in religious ritual throughout all of early history...In the Christian religion, wine became the supreme symbol of the unity between human and divine.

... "Gods, Men, and Wine, "William Younger

The Christian sacrament of communion illustrates how fully the subtle pleasures of wine drinking became associated with the religious urge both to find union with God and friendship with one another.

..."Religion and Wine," Prof. Robert Fuller, Bradley U.

Throughout history good wine has played its role in the mystery of table communion at home and at worship. It's taken me 20 years to come up with a communion wine."

...The Rev. John Staten, the first Presbyterian minister to run a winery in the USA, Field Stone.

The Rest of the Story

Rev. Staten's wine is called "Convivio." It is derived from the Italian word for "banquet," and refers to the union that's experienced when people gather around a table to share bread, wine and the substance of their lives.

The Wine

Convivio is a 1994 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Field Stone Cabs have a good reputation. Master Sommelier Ronn Wiegand says they are "opaque, burly and consistently impressive." Best of all, if you want to try this pleasing communion wine, it costs only $12.


Field Stone's Director of Sales knows a thing or two about communion, too. Why am I so sure? At Old First Church in San Francisco, he was my minister for 10 years, The Reverend Doctor Roger Hull.

Note—For more about Field Stone Cabs, see the Oct. 10,1997 WineDay titled "Dr. Staten in the Lion's Den."

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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