Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Wine Quotes

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Those people said a lot of memorable things, including about wine...

Dumb Waiter In Wine Quotes

Dumbwaiter connected to the a wine cellar

By the way, Thomas Jefferson was the inventor of the dumb waiter. History does not record who invented the wine cellar.

Take a look at these quotes from some famous and not so famous writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. While the language has changed, the appreciation of wine has not. We include multiple quotes from two American statesmen, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Might we suggest that had these gentlemen been alive, Prohibition would never have happened?

If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink:
Good wine - a friend - or being dry -
Or lest we should be by and by -
Or any other reason why.
Henry Aldrich, English theologian and philosopher, (1647-1710) in Five Reasons for Drinking

Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach Who please, the more because they preach in vain,…Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda-water the day after.
Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron), English poet, (1788-1824) in Don Juan

Which cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires The young, makes Weariness forget his toil, And Fear her danger; opens a new world When this, the present, palls.
Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron), English poet, (1788-1824) in Sardanapalus

Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels.
Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron), English poet, (1788-1824) in Sweet Things

Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life.
Charles Dickens, English writer, (1812-1870)

Fan the flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship, and pass the rosy wine.
Charles Dickens, English writer, (1812-1870)

I cannot, with such perception as I have of what is reasonable, go along with those excellent persons in confounding the use of anything with its abuse, or in denying any man the cheerful enjoyment of a glass of wine, or beer or spirits and water, because his neighbor is prone to make a beast of himself by irrational excess in those things.
Charles Dickens, English writer, (1812-1870)

Bring me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape,
Or grew on vine whose tap-roots, reaching through
Under the Andes to the Cape,
Suffered no savor of the earth to escape.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer, (1803-1882) in Bacchus

The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.
Benjamin Franklin, American Renaissance man, (1706-1790)

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.
Benjamin Franklin, American Renaissance man, (1706-1790)

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. 
Benjamin Franklin, American Renaissance man, (1706-1790)

Fill ev'ry glass, for wine inspires us,
And fires us
With courage, love and joy.
Women and wine should life employ.
Is there ought else on earth desirous?
John Gay, English poet and dramatist, (1685-1732) in The Beggar's Opera

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.
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

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.
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

No nation is drunken where wine is cheap,
and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes
ardent spirits as the common beverage.
Wine brightens the life and thinking of anyone.
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

I have lived temperately....I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine each day and even treble it with a friend.
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

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.
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

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, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)

This is one of the disadvantages of wine: it makes a man mistake words for thought.
Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and critic, (1649-1703)

Wine makes a man better pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others.
Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and critic, (1649-1703)

A man should cultivate his mind so as to have that confidence and readiness without wine, which wine gives.
Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and critic, (1649-1703)

The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love is like being enlivened with Champagne.
Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and critic, (1649-1703)

He said that few people had intellectual resources sufficient to forgo the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwise contrive how to fill the interval between dinner and supper.
Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and critic, (1649-1703) in Boswell's Life of Johnson

It fills one's mouth with a gushing freshness - then goes down cool
and feverless - then you do not feel it quarrelling with your liver -
no, it is rather a peacemaker, and it lies as quiet as it did in the
grape; then it is as fragrant as the queen bee, and the more ethereal
part of it mounts into the brain ... like Aladdin about his enchanted
palace so gently that you do not feel his step.
John Keats, English poet, (1795-1821)

There are two reasons for drinking wine; one is when you are thirsty, to cure it; the other, when you are not thirsty, to prevent it...Prevention is always better than a cure.
Thomas Love Peacock, English novelist and poet, (1785-1866)

Thanks be to God, since my leaving drinking of wine, I do find myself much better, and do mind my business better, and do spend less money, and less time lost in idle company.
Samuel Pepys, English diarist, (1633-1703)

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, Scottish economist and philosopher, (1723-1790) in The Wealth of Nations

I hail with joy-- for I am a temperance man and a friend of temperance--I hail with joy the efforts that are being made to raise wine in the country. I believe that when you have everywhere cheap, pure, unadulterated wine, you will no longer have need for either prohibitory or license laws.
Louis Agassiz, Swiss-American naturalist, (1807-1873)

Wine gives great pleasure, and every pleasure is of itself a good.
William Makepeace Thackery, English novelist, (1811-1863)

Grudge myself good wine? As soon grudge my horse corn.
William Makepeace Thackery, English novelist, (1811-1863)

No wine may drink the proud Paynim,
And so I'd rather not be him.
William Makepeace Thackery, English novelist, (1811-1863)

Sip your spirits and cure your cold, but I will take Port that will cure all things, even a bad character. For thee was never a Port drinker who lacked friends to speak for him.
William Makepeace Thackery, English novelist, (1811-1863)

Anyone who know his history... must surely know his wines.
Arnold Toynbee, English historian, (1852-1883)

You may be surprised at the variety of wine quotes, sayings and proverbs about wine. Make sure to check out the different categories while enjoying your favorite wine.

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