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A glass of purple grape juice

Grape juice is obtained from crushing and blending grapes into a liquid. The juice is often sold in stores or fermented and made into wine, brandy, or vinegar. In the wine industry, grape juice that contains 7-23 percent of pulp, skins, stems and seeds is often referred to as "must". In North America, the most common grape juice is purple and made from Concord grapes while white grape juice is commonly made from Niagara grapes, both of which are varieties of native American grapes, a different species from European wine grapes. In California, Sultana (known there as Thompson Seedless) grapes are sometimes diverted from the raisin or table market to produce white juice.[1]

Welch's Grape JuiceEdit

The method of pasteurizing grape juice to halt the fermentation has been attributed to an American physician and dentist, Thomas Bramwell Welch in 1869. A strong supporter of the temperance movement, he produced a non-alcoholic wine to be used for church services in his hometown of Vineland, New Jersey. His fellow parishioners continued to prefer and use regular wine. His son, Charles E. Welch, who was also a dentist, eventually gave up his practice to promote grape juice. In 1893 he founded Welch's Grape Juice Company at Westfield, New York. The product was given to visitors at international exhibitions. The oldest extant structure associated with the company is Welch Factory Building No. 1, located at Westfield, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[2]

As the temperance movement grew, so did the popularity of grape juice. In 1913, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan served grape juice instead of wine during a full-dress diplomatic function, and in 1914, Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, forbade any alcoholic drinks on board of naval ships, actively replacing them with grape juice. During World War I, the company supplied "grapelade," a type of grape jam, to the military and advertised aggressively. Subsequent development of new grape products and sponsorship of radio and television programs made the company very successful.

 
Concord grapes being cooked down into grape juice for use in making jelly.

Use in religionEdit

Grape juice, because of its non-alcoholic content, is commonly used by Christians[3] who oppose the partaking of alcoholic beverages, as the "cup" or "wine" in the Lord's Supper.

The Catholic Church does not use grape juice because it believes that bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, a dogma known as transsubstantiation.[4] Therefore, it is believed that not using wine impedes the transsubstantiation from actually happening.[5] The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church (1983), Canon 924 says that the wine used must be natural, made from grapes of the vine, and not corrupt.[6]

Although alcohol is permitted in Judaism, grape juice is sometimes used as an alternative for kiddush on Shabbat and Jewish holidays and it has the same blessing as wine. However, many authorities maintain that grape juice must be capable of turning into wine naturally in order to be used for kiddush. Common practice, however, is to use any kosher grape juice for kiddush.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Thompson Seedless Grape Juice". 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ "Why do most Methodist churches serve grape juice instead of wine for Holy Communion?". The United Methodist Church. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1413". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  5. ^ "The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist". Newadvent.org. 1909-05-01. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Altar wine, Catholic encyclopedia". Newadvent.org. 1907-03-01. Retrieved 2012-02-01.