Well, I’m going to chime in with my orthodox Jewish $0.02.
I know that some fundamentalist Protestants have a big hang-up about alcohol and that some claim that Jesus never touched a drop of wine. If we allow that Jesus was born a Jew & lived as one (for at least part of his life, I suppose), this is impossible. The consumption of wine was part of Jewish practice then, just like it is now.
I suppose that anyone could make (unfermented) grape juice back then simply by squeezing/stomping grapes. I don’t know about preserving the unfermented) grape juice for any length of time simply because the only ways to preserve foodstuffs way back then was by pickling, salting or drying (which would make the grape juice rather yucky!).
Wine libations were an integral part of the Temple service, in the order of offerings (see Numbers 28 and 29). The Hebrew word for “its drink offering” is nisko & refers to wine, *not *grape juice. The specific reference to wine per se in Numbers 28:14 is held to be illustrative example that holds for all of the various holyday offerings enumerated in Numbers 28-29. Anyone who claims that w-i-n-e was not used in the Temple is saying the scriptural/historical equivalent of 2+2=5.
On the Nazirite’s having to abstain from wine (see Numbers 6:1-21), several of our Sages comment on the fact that at the conclusion of his vow, he had to bring (inter alia) a sin-offering. I believe that it is our very great medieval Sage, Nahmanides (ou.org/about/judaism/rabbis/ramban.htm), who says that the Nazirite had to bring a sin-offering because he had taken upon himself a vow (which Judaism frowns upon unless absolutely necessary) that entailed having to deny himself some of the good things which God has permitted us.
I think that my Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox cyberfriends would agree with us that wine, when properly used, can be a vehicle for holiness. When improperly used, it can be a vehicle for vile unholiness. Wine is, in effect, a kind of tool. It is neither evil nor good; only the use to which it is put and the ends to which it is used can be good or evil. (Even Milton refers to “misused wine.”) Our Sages define these uses for us & teach us where and when is wine’s place & where and when it’s place is not. The scriptures endorses neither teetotalism nor habitual drunkeness.
Yes I agree, and wine was a staple at the time as well because some water supplies were anything but potable. Wine has a natural content that inhibits the growth of bad bacteria as well. Wine was drank at mealtime and as we see today is a good way of aiding digestion and is also good for the blood. The consumption of any spirits is to be done in moderation of course.