Since the earliest civilization’s roamed the earth, a hardy glug of wine has been a dependable precursor to some history’s most brilliant (and brilliantly dumb) utterances. Successful lines of immortalized grape-speak have come from the most prolific drinkers of the stuff—from Thomas Jefferson to Henny Youngman, wine has inspired an array of ideas on the subject (and it even pushed Noah to “uncover” himself when drunk on the stuff, roaming the arc aimlessly).

Beyond the incredibly funny Paul Masson outtakes with a drunk Orson Welles (he drank the wine way before it was time), you’ll delight in some unexpected wine-minded quotes from actors, poets, authors, and politicians.

And with Labor Day celebrations around the corner, you’ll be the scholarly comedian keeping the family BBQ upbeat by unleashing a few of these quips to whomever is flipping burgers. Make sure a glass of American red, white, or bubbly is in hand so that you can punctuate each pronouncement with an indulgent sip.

Scroll down to read and memorize a few of our favorite wine-related quotes.

Thomas Jefferson


Who? U.S. President, author of The Declaration of Independence
Thoughts on the matter: “No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage.” (Photo:

Groucho Marx


Who? Comedian, film star, cigar smoker
Thoughts on the matter: “I shall drink no wine before it’s time! OK, it’s time.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Nigella Lawson


Who? Food TV personality
Thoughts on the matter: “I never taste the wine first in restaurants, I just ask the waiter to pour.” (Photo: Kitchen Daily)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson


Who? Astrophysicist
Thoughts on the matter: “Here’s the problem, when you’re stargazing on a mountain top you are partially oxygen-deprived and you’re in command of million dollars worth of hardware. So as much as I would like to sip wine under the stars, it’s contraindicated in the instructions on operating telescopes.” (Photo: The Verge)

Benjamin Franklin


Who? Founding father, inventor
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

W.C. Fields

Mahatma Kane Jeeves

Who? Comedian, actor
Thoughts on the matter: “I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.”

Sylvia Plath


Who? Poet, author
Thoughts on the matter: “I drink sherry and wine by myself because I like it and I get the sensuous feeling of indulgence…luxury, bliss, erotic-tinged.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

James Thurber


Who? Author, cartoonist
Thoughts on the matter:
thurber-domestic-burgundy 2

Ernest Hemingway


Who? American author
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Louis Pasteur

Portrait of Louis Pasteur

Who? French scientist
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Jack Handey


Who? Humorist, author
Thoughts on the matter: “Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink, I feel shame! Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this wine, they might be out of work, and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.”



Who? Greek epic poet
Thoughts on the matter: “[I]t is the wine that leads me on, the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs, laugh like a fool—it drives the man to dancing… it even tempts him to blurt out stories better never told.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Richard Brautigan


Who? Writer, poet
Thoughts on the matter: “He looked as if he had been beaten to death with a wine bottle, but by doing it with the contents of the bottle.” (Photo: Poetry Foundation)

Suze Orman


Who? Energetic financial advisor
Thoughts on the matter: “The funny thing is, wine is turning out to be a great investment. I couldn’t believe what happened with the value of my wine futures. I pinched myself and asked, ‘Did I just make more money on wine barrel futures than I did on the stock market?”

Drew Barrymore


Who? Film actor/producer/director
Thoughts on the matter: “I’m sure wine snobs look at me and think, how dare you.” (Photo: Gogomix)

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Who? Poet, author, Civil Rights activist
Thoughts on the matter: “Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.” (Photo: Brain Pickings)

Dan Aykroyd


Who? Actor, writer, ghostbuster
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine represents to me sharing and good times and a celebration of life. It is always around happy occasions with family and friends and centered around joy. What better item to be involved in then something that represents all these wonderful things.” (Photo: Biography)

F. Scott Fitzgerald


Who? American author, kills people in pools
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine gave a sort of gallantry to their own failure.” (Photo: Biography)

Steve Martin


Who? Comedian, writer, actor, banjo player
Thoughts on the matter: “I would like a wine. The purpose of the wine is to get me drunk. A bad wine will get me as drunk as a good wine. I would like the good wine. And since the result is the same no matter which wine I drink, I’d like to pay the bad wine price.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Pablo Picasso


Who? Painter
Thoughts on the matter: “I like all paintings. I always look at the paintings, good or bad, in barbershops, furniture stores, provincial hotels. I’m like a drinker who needs wine. As long as it is wine, it doesn’t matter which wine.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

William Shakespeare


Who? Playwright and Bard
Thoughts on the matter: “Give me a bowl of wine. I have not that alacrity of spirit Nor cheer of mind that I was wont to have.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Henry David Thoreau


Who? Author, poet
Thoughts on the matter: “A man may acquire a taste for wine or brandy, and so lose his love for water, but should we not pity him.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Henny Youngman

Henny_YoungmanWho? Comedian, wife-offerer
Thoughts on the matter: “Doctor says to a man, ‘You’re pregnant!’ The man says, ‘How does a man get pregnant?’ The doctor says, ‘The usual way, a little wine, a little dinner….'” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Francis Bacon


Who? Philosopher, father of empiricism
Thoughts on the matter: “Of all things known to mortals wine is the most powerful and effectual for exciting and inflaming the passions of mankind, being common fuel to them all.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy


Who? Supermodel, former French First Lady
Thoughts on the matter: (While presiding over an auction) “At 200,000 euros, I’ll deliver the wine. At 250,000 euros, my husband [former president Nicolas Sarkozy] will deliver it with me. (Photo: Vogue)

Stephen Fry


Who? English actor/writer
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine can be a better teacher than ink, and banter is often better than books.” (Photo: The Sunday Times)

Kristin Davis


Who? Actor
Thoughts on the matter: “Sometimes it would be nice to just have some red wine with dinner, but it’s not worth the risk. I have a great life, a great situation. Why would I want to risk self-destructive behavior?” (Photo: Kristen Davis)

James Joyce


Who? Irish novelist, poet
Thoughts on the matter: “White wine is like electricity. Red wine looks and tastes like a liquified beefsteak.” (Photo: Poetry Foundation)



Who? Astronomer, father of modern science
Thoughts on the matter: “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” (Photo: Biography)



Who? Philosopher
Thoughts on the matter: “Boys should abstain from all use of wine until their eighteenth year, for it is wrong to add fire to fire.”

Tennessee Williams


Who? Pretty boy playwright
Thoughts on the matter: “Most of the confidence which I appear to feel, especially when influenced by noon wine, is only a pretense.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

David Hyde Pierce


Who? Actor From Saratoga
Thoughts on the matter: “Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, I’m finding enjoyment in things that stop time. Just the simple act of tasting a glass of wine is its own event. You’re not downing a glass of wine in the midst of doing something else.” (Photo: David Hyde Pierce Tumblr)

Dave Matthews


Who? Guy Who Doesn’t Drink Water
Thoughts on the matter: “I like to think I’m a night person, because that’s my job, but now I’m a father of three. I’m trying to become more of a morning person. I don’t know if it will last. I have two choices, right? Either I’m bitter about getting up early, or I start drinking wine earlier and get to bed.” (Photo:

Frank Sinatra


Who? The Voice
Thoughts on the matter: “Someone said drink the water, but I will drink the wine / Someone said take a poor man, the rich don’t have a dime / Go fool yourself, if you will, I just haven’t got the time / I’ll give you back your water, and I will take the wine.” (Photo: Virgin Media)

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