[Image: Bunch of Grapes]
101 Favorite Wine Quotes

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

The following wine quotes -- some familiar, some not -- were submitted during an enjoyable online discussion in January 1998 by members of the Wine Lovers' Discussion Group.

As with all features on The Wine Lovers' Page, this list is dynamic and by no means limited to 101 entries. If you have other favorite wine quotes that deserve inclusion on the list, please let us know!


Courtesy of the Arizona Republic, 01/22/98:
Filmmaker/winemaker Francis Ford Coppola says the two professions are almost the same and that each depends on source material and takes a lot of time to perfect.
The big difference: "Today's winemakers still worry about quality."

Harry Cantrell

"My only regret in life is that I didn't drink enough Champagne."

Robert Noecker

"It sloweth age, it strengtheneth youth,it helpeth digestion,it abandoneth melancholie, it relisheth the heart, it lighteneth the mind, it quickenth the spirits, it keepeth and preserveth the head from whirling, the eyes from dazzling, the tongue from lisping, the mouth from snaffling, the teeth from chattering and the throat from rattling; it keepeth the stomach from wambling, the heart from swelling, the hands from shivering, the sinews from shrinking, the veins from crumbling, the bones from aching,and the marrow from soaking.

--copied by Joseph Lyons from a 16th Century manuscript


If your heart is warm with happiness, you'll need a glass - if sorrow chills your heart, have two!

Bob H.

"No nation is druken where wine is cheap, and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage"

Thomas Jefferson

Dave Guimond

Ok. Here's what I like to say about a well made wine of modest proportions:
"It is not a wine that commands your attention, but rather, rewards it."

Milan in Santa Cruz

I'll add one that is my spin on an old budgeting problem:
Why is there so much wine left at the end of my money?


I'll never be able to afford it so I better buy it now.

Eden Stone

"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infininite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?"


Port is not for the very young, the vain and the active. It is the comfort of age and the companion of the scholar and the philosopher.
-Evelyn Waugh

"Wine is the most civilized thing in the world."
-Ernest Hemingway.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."
-John Maynard Keynes.

"Gentlemen, in the little moment that remains
to us between the crisis and the catastrophe,
we may as well drink a glass of Champagne."
-Paul Claudel.

"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food!!"


Here's a thing that may be difficult for non-Finns:
If you can't put the bottle in a safe place under your chair, you are either in too fine company, or you've fallen off your chair just to meet your bottle on an equal level.

Doug Brown

From the back label of a Cline Zin:
Zin Prayer
"Know me, stranger,
For I am thy life blood
and thy nectar.
I shall wet thy lips, parched
by the winds of deprivation.
And nourished shall be thy body,
dessicated by the scorching
inferno of temperance.
Rest thy head upon my bosom,
Lose thyself in the ecstasy of
my caresses,
And know me,
For I am

And my favorite champagne toast:
"Champagne for our real friends and real pain for our sham friends!"

David Newell

In victory, you deserve champagne, in defeat, you need it. - Napoleon There are two reasons for drinking wine...when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to prevent it... prevention is better than cure. - Thomas Love Peacock

Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it. - Anonymous

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. - Benjamin Franklin

God in His goodness sent the grapes, to cheer both great and small; little fools will drink too much, and great fools not at all. - Anonymous

Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved. - Medieval German saying

James Biancamano

"And so the souls of men and their wine live for eternity with the grace of their God" -- JB

"Spill the wine, take that girl" -- Eric Burden and War

"The First Duty of wine is to be Red...the second is to be a Burgundy" -- Harry Waugh

"And drink thy wine with a merry heart for God has accepteth thy works"

"In wine one beholds the heart of another"

"In wine there is truth."

"Where there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wing"

"Come I am tasting the stars!" -- Attributed by legend to Dom Perignon

"Couldn't understand a single word he said but he sure had some mighty fine wine....and I helped him drink his wine" -- 3 Dog Night

"Port strengthens while it gladden as no other wine can do"


How 'bout some toasts? My favorite is:
"If all be true that I do think, there are five reasons we should drink. Good friends, good times,or being dry, or lest we should be by and by, or any other reason why"

Tom Troiano

This list of wine related quotes comes with the same set of caveats that I gave when I posted "The Night Before Christmas" (which I later figured out was originally by Mark Squires!). Someone gave me the list, I forget who, its not mine!!!!!!

Thomas Jefferson on wine:

"Wine from long habit has become an indispensable for my health."

"I have lived temperately . . . I double the doctor's recommendation
of a glass and a half of wine a day and even treble it with a friend."

"By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my
country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the
national debt."

"I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax
on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens."

"Good wine is a necessity of life for me."

"I rejoice as a moralist at the prospect of a reduction of the duties
on wine by our national legislature.... Its extended use will carry
health and comfort to a much enlarged circle."

{same as above as full text:}
"I rejoice as a moralist at the prospect of a reduction of the duties on wine, by our national legislature. It is an error to view a tax on that liquor as merely a tax on the rich. It is a prohibition of its use to the middling class of our citizens, and a condemnation of them to the poison of whiskey, which is desolating their houses. No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage. It is, in truth, the only antidote to the bane of whiskey. Fix but the duty at the rate of other merchandise, and we can drink wine here as cheap as grog; and who will not prefer it? Its extended use will carry health and comfort to a much enlarged circle. Everyone in easy circumstances (as the bulk of our citizens are) will prefer it to the poison to which they are now driven by their government. And the treasury itself will find that a penny apiece from a dozen, is more than a groat from a single one. This reformation, however, will require time."

"Wine ... the true old man's milk and restorative cordial."

And others consider the grape:

"I wonder what the vintners buy one half so precious as the stuff they
- Omar Khayyam

"Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say it makes him
more pleasing to others."
- Samuel Johnson

"Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile."
- Homer, "Odyssey (9th c. B.C.)

"When there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wing."
- Ovid, "The Art of Love" (c. A.D. 8)

"Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babes, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts."
- John Stuart Blackie

"If penicillin can cure those that are ill, Spanish sherry can bring the dead back to life."
- Sir Alexander Fleming

"From wine what sudden friendship springs!"
- John Gay "The Squire and the Cur," 'Fables'

"Tis pity wine should be so deleterious,
For tea and coffee leave us much more serious."
- Lord Byron

"There is evil in every berry of grape." - The Koran

"For a bad night, a mattress of wine." - Spanish proverb

"Wine, madam, is God's next best gift to man." - Ambrose Bierce,
"The Devil's Dictionary," 1907

"Come quickly! I am tasting stars!" - Dom Perignon (1638-1714) at his
first sip of champagne

"I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles."
-A Bishop of Seville

"French wines may be said but to pickle meat in the stomach, but this is the wine that digests, and doth not only breed good blood, but it nutrifieth also, being a glutinous substantial liquor; of this wine, if of any other, may be verified that merry induction: That good wine makes good blood, good blood causeth good humors, good humors cause good thoughts, good thoughts bring forth good works, good works carry a man to heaven, ergo, good wine carrieth a man to heaven."
- British writer James Howell (1634)

Baron James Rothschild sent Rossini [composer of 'The Barber of Seville', 'William Tell', etc.] some splendid grapes from his hothouse. Rossini, in thanking him, wrote, "although your grapes are superb, I don't like my wine in capsules." Rothschild read this as an invitation to send him some of his celebrated Chateau-Lafite, which he proceeded to do.
- Lillie de Hergermann-Lindencrone, "In the Courts of Memory"

"When the wine [made at her chateau] is in the golden period of effervescing, any sick child in the village ticketed by the doctor can be brought to the wine-presses and dipped in. If labeled 'tres malade,' he is dipped in twice."
- Lillie de Hergermann-Lindencrone, "In the Courts of Memory"

This vignette about Kaiser Wilhelm and Otto von Bismarck is from Patrick Forbes' book "Champagne":
"It is said that dining one night at Potsdam with Wilhelm II, Bismarck was served German 'Champagne' or Sekt. He tasted it ... and put down his glass. The kaiser looked at him inquiringly. 'Your Majesty,' said Bismarck, 'I cannot drink German champagne.' Wilhelm explained that he had decided to serve Sekt rather than the Chancellor's beloved Heidsieck, not only for reasons of economy, but as a patriotic gesture. 'Your Majesty,' said Bismarck simply, 'I am extremely sorry. My patriotism stops short of my stomach."

"The soft extractive note of an aged cork being withdrawn has the true sound of a man opening his heart."
- William S. Benwell, "Journey to Wine in Victoria," Melbourne 76

A clipping from The Times of London, circa 1798:
"'To which University,' said a lady, some time since, to the late sagacious Dr. Warren, 'shall I send my son?' 'Madam,' replied he, 'they drink, I believe, near the same quantity of Port in each of them.'"

"Nothing is so effective in keeping one young and full of lust as a discriminating palate thoroughly satisfied at least once a day."
- Angelo Pelligrini, "The Unprejudiced Palate'

"In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary."
- Ernest Hemingway," A Moveable Feast'

"We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy."
- Ben Franklin

"God made only water, but man made wine."
- Victor Hugo, "Les Contemplations (1856)

"Wine is a living liquid containing no preservatives. Its life cycle comprises youth, maturity, old age, and death. When not treated with reasonable respect it will sicken and die."
- Julia Child

Great pianist Arthur Rubinstein's "My Young Years":
"Her stories about [the German composer Johannes] Brahms's rudeness and wit amused me in particular. For instance, I loved the one about how a great wine connoisseur invited the composer to dinner. 'This is the Brahms of my cellar,' he said to his guests, producing a dust-covered bottle and pouring some into the master's glass. Brahms looked first at the color of the wine, then sniffed its bouquet, finally took a sip, and put the glass down without saying a word. 'Don't you like it?' asked the host. 'Hmm,' Brahms muttered.
'Better bring your Beethoven!'"

"To buy very good wine nowadays requires only money. To serve it to
your guests is a sign of fatigue."
- William F. Buckley, 'Harpers Bazaar,' Sept. '79

"... Mr. Tulkinghorn sits at one of the open windows, enjoying a bottle of old port. Though a hard-grained man, close, dry, and silent, he can enjoy old wine with the best. He has a priceless bin of port in some artful cellar under the Fields, which is one of his many secrets. When he dines alone in chambers, as he has dined to-day, and has his bit of fish and his steak or chicken brought in from the coffee-house, he descends with a candle to the echoing regions below the deserted mansion, and, heralded by the remote reverberation of thundering doors, comes gravely back, encircled by an earthy atmosphere and carrying a bottle from which he pours a radiant nectar, two score and ten years old, that blushes in the glass to find itself so famous,and fills the whole room with the fragrance of southern grapes."
- Charles Dickens, "Bleak House"

"A hard drinker, being at table, was offered grapes at dessert. 'Thank you,' said he, pushing the dish away from him, 'but I am not in the habit of taking my wine in pills.'"
- "The Physiology of Taste" by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"Writing in my sixty-fourth year, I can truthfully say that since I reached the age of discretion I have consistently drunk more than most people would say is good for me. Nor did I regret it. Wine has been for me a firm friend and a wise counsellor. Often...wine has shown me matters in their true perspective, and has, as though by the touch of a magic wand, reduced great disasters to small inconveniences. Wine has lit up for me the pages of literature, and revealed in life romance lurking in the commonplace. Wine has made me bold but not foolish; has induced me to say silly things but not to do them."
- Duff Cooper, "Old Men Forget"

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."
- Proverbs 31:6-7:

"Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babblings? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine."
- Proverbs 23:29-30

"[Wine is] poetry in a bottle."
- Clifton Fadiman

"To take wine into your mouth is to savor a droplet of the river of human history."
- Clifton Fadiman, N. Y. Times, 8 Mar '87

"A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover."
- Clifton Fadiman, N. Y. Times, 8 Mar '87

"The custom of saluting [i.e., embracing] ladies by their relatives and friends was introduced, it is said, by the early Romans, not out of respect originally, but to find by their breath whether they had been drinking wine, this being criminal for women to do, as it sometimes led to adultery."
- Joseph Haydn, "Dictionary of Dates":

"Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it."
- William Shakespeare "Othello" Act II, Sc. 3, line 293

"In wine there is truth."
- Pliny The Elder [A.D.23-79] "Natural History," Book XIV, Sect. 141

"Good wine needs neither bush nor preface to make it welcome."
- Sir Walter Scott "Perveril of the Peak," [1822] Chap. 4

"On one occasion some one put a very little wine into a [glass], and said that it was sixteen years old. 'It is very small for its age,' said Gnathaena."
- Athenaeus [c. A.D.200] "The Deipnosophists," XIII, 47

"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?"
- Isak Dinesen [1885-1962] "Seven Gothic Tales":

"I drank at every vine.
The last was like the first.
I came upon no wine
So wonderful as thirst."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay, 'Feast,' "The Harp-Weaver" (1923)

"When [wines] were good they pleased my sense, cheered my spirits, improved my moral and intellectual powers, besides enabling me to confer the same benefits on other people."
- George Saintsbury [1845-1913] "Notes on a Cellar Book"

"Wine is made to be drunk as women are made to be loved; profit by the freshness of youth or the splendor of maturity; do not await decrepitude."
- Theophile Malvezin

"The Spirit of Wine
Sang in my glass, and I listened
With love to his odorous music,
His flushed and magnificent song."
- William Ernest Henly

"There can be no bargain without wine."
- Latin saying

and then there's... a "Shoe" cartoon:
A wine critic was sitting at his typewriter & writing a wine review: 'Now this is an amusing little Chardonnay... with a surprisingly perky personality, until it is consumed in large quantities, at which point it seems to display some alarming emotional problems.'

"It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption."
- James Thurber, cartoon caption, 1944

The Irish believe that fairies are extremely fond of good wine. The proof of the assertion is that in the olden days royalty would leave a keg of wine out for them at night. Sure enough, it was always gone in the morning.
- Irish Folklore

Mike Conner

Donald Sutherland as Oddball, in "Kelly's Heros":
"Hey Man, I'm drinking wine, eating cheese and catching some rays."

Robert Fripp:
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), "The Devil's Dictionary", 1911:
CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else. An old wine-bibber having been smashed in a railway collision, some wine was poured on his lips to revive him. "Pauillac, 1873," he murmured and died.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), "The Devil's Dictionary", 1911:
GRAPE, n. Hail noble fruit! -- by Homer sung, Anacreon and Khayyam; Thy praise is ever on the tongue Of better men than I am. The lyre in my hand has never swept, The song I cannot offer: My humbler service pray accept -- I'll help to kill the scoffer. The water-drinkers and the cranks Who load their skins with liquor -- I'll gladly bear their belly-tanks And tap them with my sticker. Fill up, fill up, for wisdom cools When e'er we let the wine rest. Here's death to Prohibition's fools, And every kind of vine-pest! Jamrach Holobom

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), "The Devil's Dictionary", 1911:
WINE, n. Fermented grape-juice known to the Women's Christian Union as "liquor," sometimes as "rum." Wine, madam, is God's next best gift to man.

Steven Wright:
I made wine out of raisins so I wouldn't have to wait for it to age.

Luke 5:39
No one that has drunk old wine wants new; for he says, "The old is nice."

Sir Robert Scott Caywood:
"Compromises are for relationships, not wine."

Pliny the Elder. 23-79 A. D.:
It has become quite a common proverb that in wine there is truth.
Book xiv. Sect. 141.

Bob Henrick

"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch"
By W. C. Fields

Bernulf Bruckner

1. "Life is much too short to drink bad wines!" ("Das Leben ist viel zu kurz, um schlechten Wein zu trinken!") (I don't know by whom)

2. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, a famous German poet, once was asked, which three things he would take to an island. He stated: "Poetry, a beautiful woman and enough bottles of the world's finest wines to survive this dry period!" Then he was asked what he would leave back first, if it was allowed to take only two things to the island. And he briefly replied: "The poetry!" Slightly surprised, the man asked the next question: "And Sir, what would you leave back if only one was allowed?" And Goethe thought for a couple of minutes and answered: "It depends on the vintage!"

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