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Wine Quotes
From Hemingway to Thurber

Two weeks ago while I was researching Thomas Jefferson and wine, I ran on a couple of great web sites devoted to quotations about wine. Here are a few of my favorites...

From Ernest Hemingway

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

"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"

Benjamin Franklin

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

"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

W.C. Fields

"I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food." --- W. C. Fields

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

"During one of my treks through Afghanistan, we lost our corkscrew. We were compelled to live on food and water for several days." --- Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C. Fields) in My Little Chickadee, 1940


"Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin." --- Napoleon

"In victory, you deserve champagne, in defeat, you need it.". - Napoleon

Julia Child

"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


"In wine there is truth."

- Pliny The Elder [A.D.23-79] "Natural History,"

Alexandre Dumas

"Wine... the intellectual part of the meal." --- Alexandre Dumas, 1873

Winston Churchill

Bessie Braddock, a well-known socialist in England, attended a dinner party at which she was seated next to Winston Churchill who had had quite a bit to drink. She said to him, “Winston, you are drunk!” He replied, “Madame, I may be drunk, but you are ugly, and tomorrow I will be sober.”

Dom Perignon

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


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!"

From Cartoons

From 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