Words on wine from around the world, over the ages… by poets and authors, priests and scientists, entertainers and politicians – plus a bunch of people whose names we’ve forgotten. Cartoons & illustrations by Walter Pichler

Pichler, Cartoon, Fun Lovers - Mail0014 (cropped)By the Fun Lovers

I only drink Champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.

By Lily Bollinger (1899–1977), proprietor of French Champagne house Bollinger from 1941 to 1971

Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.

By Mark Twain, American author (1835–1910)

Wine improves with age – the older I get, the better I like it.


Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter… sermons and soda-water the day after.

By George Byron, English poet (1788–1824)

He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.

By Martin Luther, German priest (1483–1546)

If a life of wine, women and song becomes too much, give up the singing.


Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.

By Benjamin Franklin, American author, scientist and politician (1706–1790)

Whether wine is a nourishment, medicine or poison is a matter of dosage.

By Paracelsus (Phillip von Hohenheim), Swiss alchemist, physician and astrologer (1493–1541)

When men drink, then they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends. Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.

By Aristophanes, Greek playwright (446–336BC)

My only regret in life is that I did not drink more wine.

Ernest Hemingway

Wine is the answer. I just don’t remember the question.


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


Pichler, Cartoon, Philosophers & Dreamers - Mail0015 (cropped)Philosophers, Dreamers

Wine is wont to show the mind of man.

By Theogenis, Greek poet (6th century)

In vino veritas (In wine there is truth).

By Alcaeus, Greek poet (6th century BC)

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

I am drinking the stars.

By Dom Pierre Pérignon, Benedictine monk (1638–1715) on his first sip of sparkling Champagne

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

By Benjamin Franklin, American author, scientist and politician (1706–1790)

A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.

By Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, French gastronome (1755–1826)

Wine brightens the life and thinking of anyone.

By Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), American president from 1801 to 1809

With wine and hope, anything is possible.

Spanish proverb

Life is too short to drink bad wine.


Wine rejoices the heart of man, and joy is the mother of all virtues.

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet and playwright (1749–1832)

In victory you deserve Champagne, in defeat you need it.

By Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), first consul of France from 1799 and emperor from 1804 to 1814/5, king of Italy from 1805 to 1814

Wine… the intellectual part of the meal.

By Alexandre Dumas, French writer (1802–1870)

The best way to learn about wine is in the drinking.

By Alexis Lichine, American wine dealer and writer (1913–1989)

Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.

By Andre Simon, French wine merchant, gourmet and wine writer (1877–1970)

Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.

By Michael Broadbent, British wine writer (1927–)

Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.

By Ernest Hemingway, American author (1899–1961)

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.

By Evelyn Waugh, English writer (1903–1966)

There are many wines that taste great, but do not drink well.

By Michael Broadbent, British wine writer (1927–)

Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.

By Robert Fripp, English guitarist and songwriter (1946–)

Wine is the thinking person’s health drink.

By Dr Phillip Norrie, Australian wine writer, author, academic and vintner (1953–)

Wine is life.


It [good wine] should start and end with a smile.

By William Sokolin, New York wine merchant and wine writer

Pinotage has the heart of a lion and the tongue of a woman; after drinking a certain quantity you can talk forever and fight like the devil!


Champagne is the wine of civilisation… the oil of government.

By Winston Churchill (1874–1965), British prime minister from 1940 to 1945 & 1951 to 1955

Wine is sunlight, held together by water.

Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer (1564–1642)

By the RomanticsPichler, Cartoon, Romantics - Mail0019 (cropped)

We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.

By Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan author (1940–)

Nothing is so effective in keeping one young and full of lust as a discriminating palate thoroughly satisfied at least once a day.

By Angelo Pellegrini, Italian author (1904–1991)

Wine comes in at the mouth and love comes in at the eye. That’s all we shall know for truth before we grow old and die. I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and sigh.

By William Butler Yeats, Irish poet (1865–1939)

Wine is bottled poetry.

By Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish author and poet (1850–1894)

Where there is no wine there is no love.

By Euripides, Greek playwright (480–406 BC)

And then some…Pichler, Cartoon, And Then Some - Mail0020 (cropped)

I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.

By Frank Sinatra, American singer (1915–1998)

Madame, I may be drunk, but you are ugly, and tomorrow I will be sober.

By Winston Churchill (1874–1965), British prime minister from 1940 to 1945 & 1951 to 1955


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