It has the pallor of petrol and a nose like burning rubber but it tastes, in the words of its maker, like ''success''.
Tawfeeq Mohammed, his nom de fume, calls it Chateau Zeer Salem, a private nod to a fifth-century Christian poet who loved women and wine.
Since the militant Islamic movement Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, enjoying a drink in this tiny Palestinian enclave of 1.5 million people has become a high-risk pursuit.
Mohammed says alcohol is the most forbidden of fruits.
''Alcohol is considered worse than hashish, or worse than any other drugs. If you are caught drinking alcohol you will first receive a severe beating and several months in jail.''
Determined that he would not be made to give up drinking wine, Mohammed decided in 2007 that instead of paying a small fortune to buy it on the black market he would try making his own.
A friend learnt to make wine when he was studying in Greece. ''He passed the recipe on to me and, with a little help from the internet, I had some success.''
Mohammed, a 40-year-old father of four, remembers the day in late 2007 when he first tasted wine made by his own hand.
''I couldn't stop smiling,'' he told the Herald in his Gaza City flat this week. ''It was amazing. My friends and I, we celebrated late into the night.''
The winemaking itself is a cloak-and-dagger affair.
The grapes are obtained in batches from fruit sellers all over the city.
The golden rules are: never use the same seller twice, always buy in small quantities and, most important of all, don't breathe a word to anyone about what you are doing.
''If I went to a fruit seller and bought 20 kilograms of grapes - he would be suspicious and next thing I know would be a knock on the door from the secret police,'' Mohammed says.
When he has bought about 100 kilograms of grapes, his task is to smuggle them into his apartment without the neighbours seeing.
''Once inside, my friends come over, we put stockings on our feet and the crushing begins.'' The juice is left to soak in the grape skins and then filtered.
''For every 10 litres I add one kilogram of sugar and for every 20 litres I add one whole tablet of brewer's yeast, which we are allowed to buy in Gaza because it is used to make cheese.''
The mixture is poured into 20-litre drums fitted with special lids that allow the fermentation gases to escape but keep the oxygen out.
''After 40 days, we have wine. It's primitive, but effective. Usually that amount of grapes makes 50 litres of wine. I bottle it here and it lasts the whole season.''
When Mohammed runs out of wine and there are no more grapes, he turns to oranges. That wine is sweeter still than Zeer Salem and has more alcohol.
''We don't drink to get drunk here - this is about the freedom to choose what to do. And drinking this wine is like drinking freedom itself.''
As an ideological struggle plays out within Hamas, between the comparatively moderate ''Erdoganis'' (after the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan), and the more extreme ''Talibanis'' (after the ultra-conservative Afghan Islamic movement), it is not only drinkers who have to watch out.
Last month Hamas militants set fire to a new social club called the Crazy Water Park because they believed that the owners were allowing too much fraternisation between men and women. They almost destroyed the $1.3 million venue.
One of those owners is Alladin Mohammed el-Araj, who was an economics minister in the first Hamas government.
''Unfortunately, we are seeing the more conservative faction with the upper hand at the moment,'' Araj said this week. ''All over Gaza, restaurants and clubs like this are being regularly shut down for no reason.''
Despite the damage done to his club, Araj is set to open over the weekend. ''I hope that things change. This is a society where moderate Islam is the majority - but those people have not yet found a way to take control.''