In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, chapter The Weighting of the Wands Olivander conjures wine with Harry's wand:

Mr. Ollivander spent much longer examining Harry’s wand than anyone else’s. Eventually, however, he made a fountain of wine shoot out of it, and handed it back to Harry, announcing that it was still in perfect condition.

As we all know food cannot be conjured out of nowhere - first exception of Gamp's law. Wine still counts as food or at least a derivate of food (grapes or any fruit in general).

So where does it come from?

  • 4
    This is a good question, but I suspect the answer is going to be "Rowling hadn't thought up Gamp's Law yet" Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 20:47
  • yeah i believe it wasn't until book 7 that hermione tell the boys this. assuming she had already planned this, he was simply summoning the wine from most likely his home. otherwise he is simply conjuring wine, which at the point of this book, breaks no laws.
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 20:54
  • 5
    Not quite as unusual as wine, but Aguamenti should probably fall foul of the same rule.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 21:11
  • 1
    @alexwlchan Although there seems to be quite some water around on this planet. Maybe the spell is designed to get water from the nearest ocean or something. This is all speculation though, no canon evidence to support it.
    – 11684
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 21:14
  • @alexwlchan, I think I might have said on another answer, maybe, that I have a theory that augamenti water is not drinkable:we never see anyone drink it, certainly it vanishes as it gets to dumbledores mouth (could be to stop people drinking in the cave in HPB, but then, why have the lake water be drinkable?) Since water has many uses other than drinking the spell is useful without being drinkable, and this way it doesn't break the laws. Unlikely, possibly, but meh... Fits in canon
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 21:19

3 Answers 3


There's mulled wine available in the kitchens.

‘Back to the ship, then,’ he was saying. ‘Viktor, how are you feeling? Did you eat enough? Should I send for some mulled wine from the kitchens?’

And presumably the Weighing ceremony also has alcoholic refreshments for the adult attendees since it's near dinner time.

That being the case, Ollivander could easily have summoned the wine from a nearby table.

  • Sounds plausible although it is a huge waste of good wine :)
    – vap78
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 19:07
  • @vap78 maybe it's really bad wine... Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:12

Well, the aguamenti spell is frequently used throughout the series to produce water (apparently) from nowhere. Gamp's law doesn't seem to refer to water. It's perfectly possible that what Ollivander produces is simply water that's enchanted to look, smell and taste like wine, but without any nutritional content.


He could have summoned and transmutted any number of sources to make into wine, mrs. weasely made sauce by summoning the ingregients and using her wand as an impromptu cuisanart/dutch oven comb.

Per the Harry Potter Wikia article on Gamp's law :

Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration is a law governing the magical world. There are >> five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law, one of which is food.

It should be noted that while food cannot be outright created from nothing, it can be multiplied if one already has some food to multiply, it can be enlarged or the food can be summoned if one knows the approximate location and is fairly sure the food will still >> be there.

In September 1997, after Ron commented that his mother could make good food out of thin air, Hermione stated that this was impossible, as food is one of the five Principle Exemptions to this law, but this only irritated Ron, who wanted her to "speak English", but was not satisfied by her explanation.

On 1 May, 1998, after Neville Longbottom noted that the one thing that the Room of Requirement did not seem to be able to provide was food, Ron commented that food was one of the five Principle Exceptions to this law, to "general astonishment".

Behind the scenes

Gamp's Law apparently uses the surname of the person who discovered it. Hesper Gamp, a witch married to Sirius Black II, might be that person or a relative of that person.

According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it may or may not be possible to turn an animal into a human.

Although many things appear impossible to conjure, there is legislation in the wizarding world about what can and cannot be conjured.

In chapter five, "Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes", of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Mrs. Weasley creates sauce without an incantation. Quote from American paperback edition: "A creamy sauce poured from the wand tip as she stirred."

  • Where is the quote from (if this is a quote)?
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 22:30
  • 2
    @escoce, even leaving aside that you've failed to reference your quotes, large chunks of what you've copied and pasted from the Harry Potter Wikia simply aren't relevant to the question. On top of that, the wikia isn't a primary source of info which means that this answer is very low-value.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 22:46
  • Also, there's no indication how Molly Weasley was able to make sauce, whether by conjuration or another method.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 22:47

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