Concerning Matt. 9.17; Mark 2.22; Luke 5.37, Morna Hooker writes:
“Matthew spells this out: ‘new wine must be put into fresh wineskins―that way, both the wine and the skins are preserved.’ As for Luke, his concern reaches not only to the old wineskins but to the old wine, for he adds a postscript to Jesus’ words to the effect that no one who has tasted old wine wants to drink new, since the old is better. And though connoisseurs of wine might agree with Luke’s assessment, it is a strangely conservative sentiment to find in Luke’s gospel―so strange, indeed, that commentators generally assume the statement to be ironic. How could Luke believe that the old wine of Judaism was preferable to the new wine of Christianity?” – Morna Hooker, “New Wine in Old Bottles”
I was interested to come across this saying in the Mishnah:
“Rabbi Meir said, “Look not at the flask, but at what it contains: there may be a new flask full of old wine, and an old flask that has not even new wine in it.” – m.Avot IV.27
This appears to be a direct contradiction of Jesus’ saying, perhaps an indication that wineskins and wine were a frequent metaphor of the day. Nonetheless, Jesus’ saying is superior in logic and force: it uses the striking picture of what actually happens to old wineskins, while R. Meir’s saying conveys no more than our English old saw, “Don’t just a book by its cover.”
I remain thoroughly puzzled by Luke’s additional note about the old wine being better. Jeremias (The Parables of Jesus) actually rejects Luke’s addition as an irrelevant interpolation, and it is tempting to believe him.