Wine is so much more than a drink. It has inspired poets since the dawn of the grape. I can’t imagine how many columns I’ve written over the years; indeed, I can’t remember how many years I’ve been writing. But the subject never bores me, and the intent is that it will never bore you, dear reader.
I receive so many e-mails and letters from people with amazing questions that I’m thrilled to answer. The most popular question, over the years, has addressed the topic of “wine quotes.” Some of the most incredible statements have been inspired by the nectar of Bacchus, so I recently researched a good deal of what has been said and came up with my list of favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy them:
First, a splendid tale about a spirit, not about wine, but I can’t resist. The great Irish humorist and drinker Myles na gCopaleen died on April Fool’s Day 1966. Two friends John Ryan and Patrick Kavanagh were at the funeral. “Do you know the last thing he said?” Paddy asked John coming out of the church, “I don’t.” John replied. “When he was lying in his bed in the hospital, some fella brought him a naggin of gin and a baby tonic. He filled Myles’ glass with the entire contents of the gin, adding about half a thimbleful of tonic. ‘Almighty God,’ Myles gasped, ‘Are you trying to drown the gin entirely?’” He swallowed his drink and dropped dead!
Ecclesiastes: “Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful, and not to make them drunk.”
Dean Martin: “A man is never drunk if he can lie on the floor without holding on.” (also attributed to Sinatra)
Werumens Benning: “Wine is the flower in the buttonhole of civilization.”
W.C. Fields: “Some weasel took the cork out of my lunch.”
Henny Youngman: “Now take my wife….when she’s in France she likes to be Chablis treated.”
Then I have my very own words of wisdom. I’m regularly asked to name my favorite wine and I respond: “The one in my glass which I didn’t pay for.”
I’ll end with a quote from my idol Winston S. Churchill. Forgive me if I’ve quoted this before, but it deserves retelling at every opportunity. It’s spirited to say the least:
Lady Astor: “Sir, you are drunk!”
Churchill: “And, madam, you are ugly, but in the morning I shall be sober!!”
The olduns are the best. Cheers!
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in this publication. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is a weekly two-hour podcast heard exclusively on TuneIn radio anytime and anywhere worldwide either on the free TuneIn app for all smart phones and tablets (Search: Phillip Silverstone) or online on Tunein at: http://bit.ly/1gY2Ht4. “Follow” the show for weekly updates. You can also LIKE Phillip on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Phillipsilverstone and follow him on Twitter: @wining