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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Bloodwine Explained

Contains spoilers for "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," Season 2, Episode 1

One of the greatest aspects of the "Star Trek" franchise is its capacity to explore space and introduce fantastic and varied cultures. Some may be peaceful and simple, while others have ornate structures of power and a lust for battle. Others may even lack a simple and clear-cut definition.

One of the most iconic cultures and species in "Star Trek" are the Klingons, who put a premium on fighting, honor, and tradition, with one of their most notable traits being the consumption of the bloodwine beverage and a complete and working language.

In the first episode of Season 2 of "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," the crew of the USS Enterprise receives a distress call from La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) from a border planet that is shared between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Upon arrival on the planet, the crew finds La'an engaged in a drinking contest with a surly Klingon, and the two jeer each other for their ability to handle the potent drink. Later, even Spock (Ethan Peck) gets a chance to try some after he exposes a false flag operation. Bloodwine is an essential aspect of Klingon culture as it's used to celebrate important victories. Klingons often stockpile the drink for such occasions, and the liquid is known for its incredibly intoxicating properties, which probably helps to explain why that crowd in Episode 1 is so feisty and animated!

Bloodwine is incredibly important to Klingon culture

As mentioned earlier, bloodwine is an incredibly strong drink that isn't for the occasional weekend warrior. Considering its genesis within the Klingon culture, bloodwine is often a hallmark of great battles and rites of passage. Besides being used to celebrate glorious combat, bloodwine is also important in the Order of Bat'leth induction and is given to those Klingons that have distinguished themselves in battle. For those that aren't entirely keen on "Star Trek" lore, the Order of Bat'leth contains the most notable Klingon warriors, and these fighters are inducted once a year by whoever is the current Klingon chancellor.

Oddly enough, the drinking of bloodwine occurs a full day before the Order of Bat'leth ceremony; that in itself is part of the process. If one can drink bloodwine for a full day before a big party, they must surely be a fearsome combatant.

With a name like bloodwine, one might suspect that the beverage is brewed with blood, and that isn't too far from the truth. Although not truly specified, the "Star Trek" resource Memory Alpha notes some ambiguity regarding the process of the drink's creation, with the "Star Trek Encyclopedia" saying that bloodwine is a distinct red wine. Meanwhile, the "Star Trek Cookbook" says that bloodwine is brewed by fermenting blood and sugar. The only consistency here is that the beverage is typically served warm, which starkly contrasts the many terrestrial wines available today. One thing is certain, though; one should have an iron stomach if they plan to guzzle down some Klingon bloodwine.