"If you have a problem with drinking, you should read this book. It might give you some practical hope. If you drink, but don’t think you have a problem, you should read this book. Perhaps it might show you the wisdom of Proverbs: (Pr 20:1)" - Don Johnson
In my view, the Bible is just ambiguous enough on the topic of beverage alcohol to put the question in the category of matters of conscience. But matters of conscience are not matters to “leave alone;” they’re not excluded from the call to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Heb. 10:24).
These issues call for respectful challenging of one another’s assumptions — and for pondering the path of our feet (Prov. 4:26).
So, I offer here a few thoughts, mainly with two groups of people in mind: those who are trying to decide what sort of stand they ought to make in their own lives, and those who are looking for ways to communicate a no-drinking position to others they care about.
I’m aware that most of the moderate-consumption advocates I know won’t find this at all persuasive, so in that sense, it’s not an entry in “the debate.” But in another sense, it is: some of the undecided and open minded may find something here that bears fruit later on.
A strong wisdom case begins by pointing out a few facts and dismissing some distractions. For brevity’s sake here, just the facts.
Verdict: it is extremely unlikely that this would have been done on a large scale anywhere around the Mediterranean. It's not witnessed in Scripture or archeology, it uses too much wood, and it would be a lot of work for the purpose of getting scurvy and water-borne diseases instead of enjoying robust health by eating raisins and having a glass of wine.