Did Jesus really use wine at the Last Supper? Has the Catholic Church made any research into the prospects of Jesus having used fresh grape juice?
Tradition holds that according to the Catholic Church, Christ used real wine at the Last Supper and not fresh grape juice.
This has been the constant tradition for centuries within both Catholic and Orthodox Churches. No Church Father suggests that Christ ever used grape juice in lieu of wine at the Last Supper.
Let us remember that Jesus’ first public miracle was to turn water into wine at the Wedding Feast at Cana. His last miracle was to change the bread and wine into his flesh and blood!
For example, St. Cyril of Jerusalem(c. 313 – 386 AD) speaks to us as Jesus using wine for the Eucharist.
"The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ" (Catechetical Lectures 19:7 [A.D. 350]).
"Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ…[Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so,…partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul" (ibid., 22:6, 9). - The Church Fathers on the Holy Eucharist
To this day, during the Passover Feast the Jewish faithful drink wine. In fact, they serve four cups of wine.
The four cups of wine, known in Hebrew as arba kosot, are drunk by each participant at the Passover seder service.
This ceremony is prescribed by the Mishnah as a duty to be observed by even the poorest man (Pes. 10: 1). The four cups are drunk in the following order: (1) the Kiddush at the start of the seder; (2) at the conclusion of the main part of the Haggadah which ends with the Ge'ullah ("Redemption") benediction; (3) at the end of the Grace after Meals; and (4) at the conclusion of the Nishmat hymn ("Birkat ha-Shir"). Only the second and fourth cups were added for the seder meal since the drinking of the two other cups forms part of every meal on Sabbaths and holidays. The reason for four cups is based by the rabbis upon the midrashic interpretation of Exodus 6:6–7, where four different terms of deliverance are employed: "I will bring you out … deliver you … redeem you … and will take you to Me for a people," etc. (Ex. R. 6:4). Other symbolic explanations for the four cups are that they correspond to the four cups of Pharaoh mentioned in Genesis, ch. 40, or to the four ancient kingdoms which oppressed Israel and for which God requites Israel with four cups of consolation (TJ, Pes. 10:1, 37b–c).
Other examples of the special symbolic significance of the number four in the Haggadah are the Four Questions ("Mah Nishtannah"). Four Sons, and the four types of food at the seder meal: unleavened bread (matzah), lamb, bitter herbs, and ḥaroset. Some rabbis in the Talmud required a fifth cup of wine for the fifth expression of redemption "I shall bring you" (Pes. 118a, according to the text found in R. Hananel and Alfasi); this became symbolized in the cup of Elijah on the seder table. The four cups of wine should be drunk in a reclined position, as in Roman times reclining was a sign of freedom. Each cup has to contain at least a ¼ log (0.137 liter; Sh. Ar, OḤ 472:9). Red wine is to be preferred but because of the blood accusations in Europe, white wine was often used (see Blood Libel ). - Passover: Four Cups of Wine
Freshly pressed grapes do not remain as such in warmer climates. Freshly pressed grapes will ferment quite naturally on it’s own.
It is simply impossible to keep the juice from crushed grapes from fermenting without modern refrigeration and pasteurization techniques. So yes, the wine was alcoholic.
Besides that the Passover is held in March or April! That is not the time for grape harvesting in the northern hemisphere. You have to wait about six months more for that in Israel. Thus another indication that it was indeed wine used at the Last Supper.
All fruit when crushed or rotten will have naturally occurring alcohol. As long as there is sugar, yeast and water alcohol will happen. Most commercially purchased fruit juice has a small amount of alcohol in it when you purchase it.
Low-alcoholic beverage Sparkling cider, sodas, and juices naturally contain trace amounts or no alcohol. Some fresh orange juices are above the UK 'alcohol free' limit of 0.05% ABV, as are some yogurts and rye bread.
Ethanol distillation is used to separate alcoholic beverages into what are advertised as non-alcoholic beverages and spirits; distilled wine produces low alcohol wine and brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn, "burning wine"),1 distilled beer may be used to produce low-alcohol beer and whisky.
However alcoholic beverages cannot be further purified to 0.00% alcohol by volume by distillation. In fact, most beverages labeled non-alcoholic contain 0.5% ABV as it is more profitable than distilling it to 0.05% ABV often found in products sold by companies specializing in non-alcoholic beverages. - Can alcohol (ethanol) exist in nature without the intervention of man?
Some get into the subject matter of yeast in the Passover Feast because the Ancient Jews ate unleavened bread. That is to say without yeast in the making of Matzo. However, Moses makes to such prohibition in the use of grape juice for wine, whether by natural means or manually added by man to aid fermentation. The Ancient Jews ate Matzo because they ate in haste.