ASK FATHER: Blessed wine turns to vinegar… still blessed?

From a reader…


I had an almost empty bottle of wine I had blessed on the Feast of St. Blaise. I tasted it and it started to get a mild vinegar taste/smell to it. I still drank it, but am wondering if Blessed wine loses its blessing once it turns to vinegar (or any spoiled blessed food for that matter), and if so, what’s the proper way to dispose of such items when burying and burning them aren’t feasible?

First, I can fathom why this problem arose.  Get the wine blessed and drink it!  Why wait?

I would say that it lost its blessing.  The analogy is that of the degradation of the substance for the Eucharist.  Once the accidents of the Precious Blood change and degrade, the substance is broken.  In other words, if the Precious Blood goes vinegary, the Real Presence is no longer there.

So, when you get your wine or food blessed, drink it and eat it.

Some people tend to get a special consumable, such as a fine olive oil, and for some reason they hesitate to use it and it, over time, goes bad.   When I get something, I use it up!  That’s what it’s for!

Anyway, the best way to dispose of these iffy things is to pour onto the ground, bury, burn and bury the ashes and so forth.  Don’t put them into the septic or sewer system.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. William says:

    It’s a blessing, not a preservative.

  2. The Egyptian says:

    reminds me of my youth, Mom bought a can of “Underwood Deviled Canned Ham”. some of you may be old enough to remember the ads for it
    That can was for “COMPANY”
    do not touch, do not eat, it’s expensive, I am saving that for “the pope”
    that was 1975, it sat in the cupboard on top of the refrigerator, just helped Mom now 84 clean out said cupboard, still there and rusty, threw it out. I guess “the pope” didn’t come. We had a good laugh.

  3. Akita says:

    TMI (too much information).

  4. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    The transition from wine to vinegar is a process not a sudden transition.

    It might be possible using organic chemistry processes to “filter out” the vinegar and leave the remaining wine intact; would the remaining wine still be blessed?

    Or is it a dilutional issue as well?…if you dilute the blessed wine with 51% water, it would cease to be blessed wine too, right? So does it require “half” of the wine to turn to vinegar before it ceases to be blessed wine, or is it just as soon as you detect the vinegar smell (this is variable depending on people’s olfaction sensitivity to particular odors). Someone with nasal polyps might not notice the vinegar odor at all although they might still notice a subtle taste difference.

    On the dilutional note, if you diluted blessed wine with 50% holy water, would it still be blessed “something” or would it cease to be both blessed wine AND blessed water by the 50:50 co-mingling?


    [Might this be just a little over-thinking on the issue? o{]:¬)

  5. Just Some Guy says:

    Ah, but is there a separate blessing for vinegar?

  6. Just Some Guy says:

    Deus, qui acetum biberat et testamentum consecraverat, praesta benedictionem super acetum nostrum, ut memoremus teipsum, panem optimum et vineam non fracesceat. Per Dominum…

  7. Marissa says:

    Red wine vinegar is perfectly edible. Mix with some olive oil and lemon and herbs for a quick salad dressing! Sure it isn’t blessed anymore but you can still use it. Your dog might even eat it!

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