Saturday, July 19, 2008


An anonymously penned 17th century haiku has this to say about sake:
Sake nakuta
Nan no onore ga
Sakura kana

Without flowing wine
What good to me are lovely
Cherry trees in bloom?

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."

"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 from a 16th Century manuscript

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

"And water is on the Bishop's board and the Higher Thinker's shrine,
But I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine." - G.K. Chesterton

"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!!" - Anonymous

"Champagne for our real friends and real pain for our sham friends!"

“Wine had such ill effects on Noah’s health that it was all he could do to live 950 years. Show me a total abstainer that ever lived that long.” - Will Rogers

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

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

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

"In wine one beholds the heart of another" -- Anonymous

"Never understood a single word he said but I helped him drink his wine…and he always had some mighty fine wine." -- 3 Dog Night

"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"

Thomas Jefferson on wine:

"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."

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

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

"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)

"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'

"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 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"

"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"

"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

"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. 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"

"[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

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

"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"

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

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

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

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

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!"

To me there is no better gift
Than a fine old bottle of wine;
Like a trusted friend, it speaks for me,
But in a voice uniquely mine.
I'll spread this cheer to all my friends,
And send them the gift of the vine;
And they in turn will share the joy--
It's 800wine. - Anonymous

Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne."
Dorothy Parker

"I am drinking the stars!"
Dom Perignon, on his first sip of bubbly Champagne

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

"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of good wine."
St. Thomas Aquinas

"Wine in itself is an excellent thing."
Pope Pius XII Airen

"One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts."
Samuel Johnson

"It had the taste of an apple peeled with a steel knife."
- Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)
Sebastian Barnack, in Time Must Have a Stop, ch 12 (1944)
Assessing a Roederer 1916 champagne.

"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."
Thomas Jefferson

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

"He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long "
Johann Heinrich Voss

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

"I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate
... and I drink champagne when I lose to console myself."

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

"Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized."
Andre Simon, Commonsense of Wine

"Remember gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for, it's Champagne!"
Winston S. Churchill, 1918

"Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living."
Robert Mondavi, "Harvests Of Joy," Autobiography

"Drink a glass of wine after your soup and you steal a ruble from your doctor."
Russian proverb

"A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutrient from cows."
George Bernard Shaw

"You have only so many bottles in your life, never drink a bad one."
Len Evans

"The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars."
Benjamin Franklin

"Wine ...moderately drunken
It doth quicken a man's wits,
It doth comfort the heart."
Andrew Boorde, 1562, "Dyetary of Helth"

"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

"Wine has been a part of civilized life for some seven thousand years. It is the only beverage that feeds the body, soul and spirit of man and at the same time stimulates the mind."
Robert Mondavi, "Harvests Of Joy," Autobiography

"Making good wine is a skill. Fine wine is an art."
Robert Mondavi, "Harvests Of Joy," Autobiography

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

"Fermented beverages have been preferred over water throughout the ages: they are safer, provide psychotropic effects, and are more nutritious. Some have even said alcohol was the primary agent for the development of Western civilization, since more healthy individuals (even if inebriated much of the time) lived longer and had greater reproductive success. "
Dr. Patrick McGovern, et al., The Origin & Ancient History of Wine

"It had the taste of an apple peeled with a steel knife."
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963),Sebastian Barnack, in Time Must Have a Stop, ch 12 (1944), assessing a Roederer 1916 champagne.

When Lily Bollinger was asked "When do you drink champagne?", she replied:
"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."

"The cheapness of wine seems to be a cause, not of drunkenness, but of sobriety. ...People are seldom guilty of excess in what is their daily fare...On the contrary, in the countries which, either from excessive heat or cold, produce no grapes, and where wine consequently is dear and a rarity, drunkenness is a common vice."
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"

"So far as drinking is concerned, you have my hearty approval; for wine does of a truth moisten the soul and lull our griefs to sleep....[and with small cups] we shall brought by its gentle persuasion to a more sportive mood."
Xenophon, quoting Socrates

"Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk of them and Champagne makes you do them."
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

"I drank a bottle of wine for company. It was Chateau Margaux. It was pleasant to be drinking slowly and to be tasting the wine and to be drinking alone. A bottle of wine was good company."
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

"The good talk that is inseparable from a wine dinner is even more important than the wines that are being served. Never bring up your better bottles if you are entertaining a man who cannot talk. Keep your treasures for a night when those few who are nearest to your heart can gather round your table, free from care, with latchkeys in their pockets and no last train to catch."
Maurice Healy, Claret

"After-dinner talk
Across the walnuts and the wine."
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), The Miller's Daughter, 31

"Pour out the wine without restraint or stay,
Pour not by cups, but by the bellyful,
Pour out to all that will."
Edmund Spenser, Epithalamion, 250

"And they drank the red wine through the helmet barr'd."
Sir Walter Scott

"By comparing what we know today with what the ancients appear to have known we can guess at the kinds of wine they drank."
Alec Waugh

"What though youth gave love and roses, age still leaves us friends and wine."
Thomas Moore

"Burgundy for Kings, Champagne for Duchesses, and claret for Gentlemen."
French Proverb

"May our love be like good wine, grow stronger as it grows older."
Old English Toast

"Age appears to be best in four things - old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read."
L. Bacon

"Fill every beaker up, my men, pour forth the cheering wine: there's life and strength in every drop, thanksgiving to the vine!"
Albert Gorton Greene

"Drink to me only with thine eyes and I will pledge with mine; or leave a kiss but in the cup, and I'll not look for wine."
Ben Johnson

"I drank at every vine, the last was like the first. I came upon no wine so wonderful as thirst."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used."
William Shakespeare, ( Othello)

"Good wine needs no bush."
William Shakespeare, ( As You Like It, Epilogue)

"Give me a bowl of wine,
In this I bury all unkindness."
William Shakespeare, (Julius Caesar)

"Give me a bowl of wine:
have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have."
William Shakespeare, (Richard III).

"Wine is a good familiar creature if it be will used, exclaim no more against it."
William Shakespeare, (Othello)

"Wine is wont to show the mind of man."

"With years a richer life begins, the spirit mellow: ripe age gives tones to violins, wine, and good fellows."
John Townsend Trowbridge

"Burgundy was the winiest wine, the central, essential, and typical wine, the soul and greatest common measure of all the kindly wines of the earth."
Charles Edward Montague

"Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."
Samuel Johnson

"I like Champagne, because it always tastes as though my foot's asleep."
Art Buchwald

"Wine is a food."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Wine can be considered with good reason as the most healthful and the most hygienic of all beverages."
Louis Pasteur

"The flavor of wine is like delicate poetry."
Louis Pasteur

"One not only drinks the wine, one smells it, observes it, tastes it, sips it and--one talks about it."
King Edward VII

"When a man drinks wine at dinner, he begins to be better pleased with himself."

"Wine fills the heart with courage."

"Wine improves with age - I like it the older I get."

"Wine is sunlight, held together by water!"
Galileo Gallilei

"Away with you, water, destruction of wine!"

"Drink wine in winter for cold, and in summer for heat."

"Where there is no wine there is no love."

"Wine is at the head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary."
The Talmud

"A full cup of wine at the right time is worth more than all the kingdoms of this earth!"
Gustav Mahler, Das Lied Von Der Erde

"Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance."

"How is Champagne made? By sheer genius, sir, sheer genius!"
Anonymous, Conversation At White's Club, London

"Nothing equals the joy of the drinker except the joy of the wine being drunk."

"Description of a corkscrew:...the wine lover's best friend and the rarest of tools."