What’s in your chalice?
With so much emphasis on wine in ritual, it surprised me to discover that very little information exists about what types of wines work with particular Sabbats, spells and moon phases.
As anyone with an interest in wine knows, “pairings” of wine with food ideally compliment each other mutually.
But wine also carries with it a spiritual energy.
So, I selected some of the most common wine varieties to give you some ideas about how to “pair” wine with the seasons, the Sabbats and the moon cycles. Enjoy!
Chalice Wine, Ritual and Witchcraft
The inclusion of wine in ritual holds a long-standing place with practitioners of the magical arts.
We pass chalices of red wine to each other to solidify bonds during a coven binding, leave it as an offering on the altar for the full moon, or let it flow plentifully to celebrate Beltane.
Partly because of its significance in ritual, and partly because my great-grandmother was a wine maker during prohibition (I come from a long line of rebels), I became fascinated with the art of wine making, I took a part-time job at a winery to learn all about this magical drink.
The process of making wine changed very little in the last 5,000 years. Mostly, nature takes care of the key phases. This continuity connects European witchcraft to its history and heritage in a unique way that still resonates today.
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
Rituals: Home blessings, family ties, binding
Earthy and dry, with tones of dark chocolate and vanilla, Merlot compliments Mabon rituals, as well as spells for blessing the home, family and binding coven ties.
Make Merlot your chalice wine for:
Samhain: Petit Sirah
Moon Phase: Dark Moon
Rituals: Scrying, divination, communication with spirits
With notes of deep plum and black pepper, the dark, rich flavor of Petite Sirah compliments the energy of Samhain and the dark moon.
Consider making it your chalice wine for:
Yule: Red Blends
Sabbat: Yule/Winter Solstice
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
Rituals: Yule, Winter Solstice, gift-giving, hearth fire rituals.
A time for togetherness, the exchanging of gifts and the enjoyment of an indoor fireplace, the abundant nature of a red blend calls to mind perfectly the spirit of the Yuletide season.
Choose a spicy one, with notes of ginger, cinnamon or plum and include it in:
-Winter holiday meals
-Tonics for bonding and togetherness
Imbolc: Ice Wine
Moon Phase: New Moon
Rituals: Snow rituals, white magic, healing
Although not many seasoned wine drinkers enjoy sweet wines, you might make an exception for ice wine during Imbolc.
Produced in cold climates like Canada and Germany, producers harvest grapes for this uniquely processed wine at about 20 degrees Fahrenheit—much colder than your typical variety.
If you find it too sweet to drink, consider adding a splash of this peachy wine to ritual snow cakes, or include it in spells for healing and release.
Ostara: Sauvignon Blanc
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent Moon
Rituals: New beginnings, Fertility
This fresh, clean, bright wine lights up the tongue with hints of fresh grass, florals and delicate fruits—everything spring is made of!
Sauvignon Blanc works perfects with the light, dreamy energies of Ostara and the early waxing moon. Add a splash of this peachy wine to:
-To bless a new beginning.
Moon Phase: Waxing (Gibbous)
Rituals: Love spells, attraction
Associated with feminine beauty, love spells and divine romance, a delicate rose fits perfectly with Beltane rituals, love and beauty spells.
Pick up a bottle for:
–Beltane ritual baths (add a splash in the water)
Sabbat: Midsummer’s Eve
Moon Phase: Full Moon
Rituals: fairy magick, sun magick, wishing spells
The joyful, effervescent flavor of champagne (or sparkling wine) instantly reminds me of all the things associated with Midsummer.
Even the bubbles call to mind an atmosphere teeming with fireflies and fairies.
Use champagne in any of the following rituals:
–Litha or Midsummer rites
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous
Rituals: Lammas, Abundance
So, technically, mead is not a wine.
Or is it? Kind of?
There seems to be quite a bit of debate regarding how exactly we define mead as an alcoholic beverage.
But it’s generally referred to as a honey wine, and it’s this key ingredient that makes it perfect for Lammas.
The first of the harvest festivals, in many regions, the richest honey is harvested at this time, when the summer flowers are at their fullest.
Add it to:
-Coven meals and food gatherings