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WINE FACTS

Q & A (part 1)
1. How many acres are planted to grapes worldwide?
2. Among the world's fruit crops, where do wine grapes rank in number of acres planted?
3. How many countries import California wines?
4. What was the primary fruit crop in Napa Valley during the 1940's?
5. How many gallons of wine were lost in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake?
6. When was phylloxera first discovered in California?
7. How many acres of Napa County vineyards have been replanted in the last 15 years because of phylloxera?
8. How many more acres of Napa County vineyards will need replacement?
9. How long does it take to harvest a commercial crop from newly replanted grape vines?
10. How many varieties of wine grapes exist worldwide?
11. How much does it cost per bottle to age wine in a French oak barrel?
12. How much does it cost per bottle to age wine in only new French oak barrels?
13. How much white zinfandel is consumed in this country?

Answers:
1) 20 million
2) #1
3) 164
4) Prunes
5) 30 million
6) August 19, 1873
7) 10,450
8) 4,450
9) 4-5 years
10) 10,000
11) 90 cents
12) $2.50
13) Too much!


Q & A (part 2)
1. When was the first known reference to a specific wine vintage?
2. How old was the wine being “reviewed”?
3. A bottle of opened wine stored in the refrigerator lasts how much longer than it would if stored at room temp?
4. How many oak species are there?
5. How many are used in making oak barrels?
6. What percent of an oak tree is suitable for making high grade wine barrels?
7. The 1996 grape crop in Napa Valley was down what percentage from normal?
8. What are the top three U.S. states in terms of wine consumption?
9. What percentage of legal-aged Americans contacted in a Nielson phone survey drink wine?
10. What percentage of restaurant wine sales do red wines represent?
11. What is the average cost of the grapes used to produce a $20 bottle of wine?

Answers:
1. Roman Historian Pliny the Elder rated 121 B.C. as a vintage “of the highest excellence.”
2. 200 years old! Pliny the Elder wrote the history of the Roman Empire around 70 A.D.
3. 6-16 times longer
4. 400
5. 20
6. 5%
7. 20-25%
8. CA, NY, FL
9. 58%
10. 55%
11. $2.64

"It’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think
you'll be amused by its presumption." ---- James Thurber, 1944

 


MORE WINE FACTS

  • Jefferson and wine: From Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, by Stephen E Ambrose, comes the following historical note. Jefferson took up residence in the President’s House in 1801, after his inauguration as the 3rd President of the United States.
       “Jefferson ran the place with only eleven servants (Abigail Adams had needed 30!), brought up from Monticello. There were no more powdered wigs, much less ceremony. Washington and Adams, according to Republican critics, had kept up almost a royal court. Jefferson substituted Republican simplicity - to a point. He had a French chef, and French wines he personally selected. His salary was $25,000 per year - a princely sum, but the expenses were also great. In 1801 Jefferson spent $6500 for provisions and groceries, $2700 for servants (some of whom were liveried), $500 for Lewis’s salary, and $3,000 for wine.”

  • Dom Perignon (1638-1715), the Benedictine Abbey (at Hautvillers) cellar master who is generally credited with “inventing” the Champagne making process, was blind.

  • Thomas Jefferson helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents and was very partial to fine Bordeaux and Madeira.
  • To prevent a sparkling wine from foaming out of the glass, pour an ounce, which will settle quickly. Pouring the remainder of the serving into this starter will not foam as much.

  • Old wine almost never turns to vinegar. It spoils by oxidation.

  • U.S. 1998 sales of white and blush wines were 67% of total table wine sales. Red wines were 33% of sales. At Beekman’s, the best we can calculate (since we don’t track the color of wine sales from Chile, Australia or Spain or of jug wines) is that our sales of white and blush comprised only 45% of total wine sales. Reds accounted for 55%. That’s in dollars, not unit sales. American wines accounted for 47% of our wine sales vs. 53% for imported wines.

  • In King Tut’s Egypt (around 1300 BC), the commoners drank beer and the upper class drank wine.

  • According to local legend, the great French white Burgundy, Corton-Charlemagne, owes its existence, not to the emperor Charlemagne, but to his wife. The red wines of Corton stained his white beard so messily that she persuaded him to plant vines that would produce white wines. Charlemagne ordered white grapes to be planted. Thus: Corton-Charlemagne!

  • When Leif Ericsson landed in North America in A.D. 1001, he was so impressed by the proliferation of grapevines that he named it Vinland.

  • Cork was developed as a bottle closure in the late 17th century. It was only after this that bottles were lain down for aging, and the bottle shapes slowly changed from short and bulbous to tall and slender.

  • Merlot was the “hot” varietal in 1999, but in 1949, the “darling of the California wine industry” was Muscatel!

  • The Napa Valley crop described in 1889 newspapers as the finest of its kind grown in the U.S. was hops.

  • When Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii in volcanic lava in A.D. 79, it also buried more than 200 wine bars.

  • The “top five” chateau of Bordeaux, according to the 1855 Classification, were actually only four: Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Haut-Brion. In the only change to that historic classification, Mouton-Rothschild was added in 1973.

  • Grapevines cannot reproduce reliably from seed. To cultivate a particular grape variety, grafting (a plant version of cloning) is used.

  • Wine has so many organic chemical compounds it is considered more complex than blood serum.

  • Wine grapes are subject to mold when there’s too much moisture. Tight clustered Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir are most susceptible to mold. The looser clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon allow for faster drying of moist grapes and thus make it less susceptible.

  • In 1945, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild began a series of artists’ labels, hiring a different artist each year to design a unique label for that vintage. The artists have included such notables as Chagall, Picasso, Miro and Warhol. The 1993 label was sufficiently controversial in this country (the stylized juvenile nude on the label offended the Political Correctness Police) that the Chateau withdrew the label and substituted a blank label instead.

  • It is the VERY slow interaction of oxygen and wine that produces the changes noticed in aging wine. It is believed that wine ages more slowly in larger bottles, since there is less oxygen per volume of wine in larger bottles. Rapid oxidation, as with a leaky cork, spoils wine.

  • Before harvest, the canopy of leaves at the top of the vine is often cut away to increase exposure to the sun and speed ripening.

  • The average age of a French oak tree harvested for use in wine barrels is 170 years!

  • The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose.

  • Cold maceration” means putting the grapes in a refrigerated environment for several days before starting fermentation to encourage color extraction. This is being done more and more frequently with Pinot Noir since the skins of this varietal don’t have as much pigmentation as other red varietals.

  • Frenchman Georges de Latour came to America in the late 1800’s to prospect for gold. He didn’t find much gold, but he founded a truly golden winery: Beaulieu Vineyard.

  • Mycoderma bacteria convert ethyl alcohol into acetic acid, thus turning wine into vinegar. However, most incidents of spoiled wine are due to air induced oxidation of the fruit, not bacterial conversion of alcohol to vinegar.

  • The world’s most planted grape varietal is Airén. It occupies over 1 million acres in central Spain where it is made into mediocre white wine, but some quite good brandy.

  • Bettino Ricasoli, founder of Brolio, is credited with having created the original recipe for Chianti, combining two red grapes (Sangiovese and Canaiolo) with two white grapes (Malvasia and Trebbiano). Today the better Chiantis have little or no white grapes in them and may contain some Cabernet. They are thus deeper in color and flavor and more age worthy.

  • From 1970 until the late 1980s, sales and consumption of wine in the United States held a ratio of about 75% white to 25% red. At the turn of the Millennium, the ratio is closer to 50-50.

  • In the year 2000, Americans spent $20 billion on wine. 72% of that was spent on California wines.

  • In ancient Rome bits of toast were floated in goblets of wine. There is a story that a wealthy man threw a lavish party in which the public bath was filled with wine. Beautiful young women were invited to swim in it. When asked his opinion of the wine, one guest responded: “I like it very much, but I prefer the toast.” (referring, presumably, to the women)

  • Cuvée” means “vat” or “tank.” It is used to refer to a particular batch or blend.

  • Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be legally released until the third Thursday of every November. The due date this year (2001) is November 15th.

  • We’re seeing more and more synthetic corks these days, but the latest technology to prevent contaminated corks is the use of microwaves.

  • Labels were first put on wine bottles in the early 1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1860s that suitable glues were developed to hold them on the bottles.

  • Top Napa Valley vineyard land sells for over $100,000/acre!

  • In the year 2000, there were 847 wineries in California.
  • Wine is often called the nectar of the gods, but Sangiovese is the only grape named after a god. Sangiovese means “blood of Jove.”

  • Ninety-two percent of California wineries produce fewer than 100,000 cases per year. Sixty percent produce fewer than 25,000 cases.

  • Egg whites, bull’s blood, and gelatin have all been used as fining agents to remove suspended particles from wine before bottling. Egg whites are still commonly used.

  • Brix” is the term used to designate the percentage of sugar in the grapes before fermentation. For example, 23° brix will be converted by yeast to 12.5% alcohol, more or less, depending on the conversion efficiency of the strain of yeast used.

  • In describing wine, the term “hot” refers to a high level of alcohol, leaving an hot, sometimes burning sensation.

  • In the production of Port, the crushed grapes are fermented for about two days. Then the fermentation is halted by the addition of a neutral distilled spirit or brandy. This raises the alcohol level and retains some of the grapes’ natural sugar.

  • American wine drinkers consume more wine on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.

  • As of 2000, 554,000 acres in California were planted to grapevines.

  • Still wine” does not come from a still. The phrase refers to wine without bubbles, which includes what is also referred to as table wine.

  • Fiasco [fee-YAHS-koh]; pl. fiaschi [fee-YAHS-kee] - Italian for “flask.” The word is most often connected with the squat, round-bottomed, straw-covered bottle containing cheaper wine from the Chianti region. The straw covering not only helps the bottle sit upright, but protects the thin, fragile glass. Fiaschi are seldom seen today as the cost of hand-wrapping each flask for cheaper wines has become prohibitive, and the more expensive wines with aging potential need bottles that can be lain on their sides.

  • As early as 4000 BC, the Egyptians were the first people to use corks as stoppers.

  • The wine industry generates 145,000 jobs in California.

  • California has 847 wineries. Napa County is the home of 232 of them.
  • Market research shows that most people buy a particular wine either because they recognize the brand name or they are attracted by the packaging. Not Beekman’s customers!

  • Portugal has 1/3 of the world's cork forests and supplies 85-90% of the cork used in the U.S.

  • There are only three legal categories of wine in the U.S.: table, dessert, and sparkling. In the early 1950s, 82% of the wine Americans drank was classified as dessert wines. These included Sherry, Port, and Madeira. I don’t have current national figures, but  Beekman’s sales of wine today are 90% table wine, 7% sparkling wine, and only 3% dessert wine!

  • Until 1970, Bordeaux produced more white wine than red. Today red wine represents about 84% of the total crop.

  • California produces approximately 77% of the U.S. wine grape crop

  • There is at least one commercial winery in every state of the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska!

  • Putting ice and kosher salt in a bucket will chill white wine or Champagne faster.

  • The most popular corkscrew, the wing-type, is cheap and easy to use, but it frequently mangles corks and leaves small pieces of cork in your wine. It also tends to pull out just the middle of an old, dry cork. Far superior are the Screwpull, which is also easy to use, and the waiter’s corkscrew, which requires just a little know-how to use effectively. No matter what type you use, you should also have a two-pronged (Ah-So) device to remove problem corks.

  • Zinfandel first appeared in the United States in the 1820s when Long Island nursery owner George Gibbs imported several grape vines from the Imperial collection in Vienna. One of the vines was Zinfandel. (The current thinking is that Zinfandel originated in Croatia where it is called Plavac Mali.) In the 1850s, Zinfandel made its way to California.

  • An Italian white wine called Est! Est! Est! got its name from a medieval story. A bishop was planning to travel the Italian countryside and asked his scout to find inns that had good wines, marking the door “Est” (“It is” or “This is it”) when he found one. The scout was so excited about the local wine found in the area that he marked one inn’s door “Est! Est! Est!” Another version of this story is that a priest was on his way to minister to a congregation in the boondocks. Upon discovering the wonderful local wine, he sent the message “Est! Est! Est!” back to Rome, renounced the priesthood, and spent the rest of his life enjoying the wine.

  • The auger or curly metal part of a corkscrew is sometimes called a worm.

  • Graves is thought to be the oldest wine region in Bordeaux.

  • The Puritans loaded more beer than water onto the Mayflower.

  • In terms of acreage, wine grapes rank #1 among all crops planted worldwide.

  • Although “château” means castle, it may also be a mansion or a little house next to a vineyard that meets the requirements for winemaking with storage facilities on its property.

  • Château Petrus is the most expensive of the Bordeaux wines. Its price is as much due to its tiny production as to its quality. Petrus is made from at least 95% Merlot grapes.

  • The Egyptians were the first to make glass containers around 1500 B.C.E.

  • The 1855 Classification of Médoc châteaux listed only the best properties. “Best” was defined as those properties whose wines were the most expensive. The top estates were then divided into five categories (the “growths”) based on price.

  • Margaux is the largest of the Médoc appellations.

  • Pomerol is the smallest Bordeaux appellation.

  • Grand Cru” is French for “great growth” and designates the best. In Burgundy it refers to the best vineyards which usually have multiple owners. In Bordeaux its meaning varies by the specific region, but it always refers to properties under a single ownership.

  • Rose bushes are often planted at the end of a row of grape vines to act as an early warning signal for infestation by diseases and insects like aphids. A vineyard manager who notices black spots or root rot on the roses will spray the grape vines before they are damaged.

  • In Empire, California, some 400 copies of Little Red Riding Hood are locked away in a storage room of the public school district because the classic Grimm’s fairy tale recounts that the little girl took a bottle of wine to her grandmother. --- Roger Cohen, New York Times, April 23, 1990   [The crazies aren’t limited to Kansas.]

  • check out http://facts.randomhistory.com/2009/08/21_wine.html - lots of interesting wine facts. While you're there, look at some of the non-wine facts too!

  • The producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape have historically been fiercely protective of their vineyard properties. This is said to have led to the 1954 passage of a municipal decree that banned the overhead flying, landing, or taking off of flying saucers in the commune!

 


WINE QUOTES

  • 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 1647-1710

  • "Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy." --- Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), the Scottish bacteriologist credited with discovering Penicillin in 1928.

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

  • "Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it." --- Anonymous

  • "Compromises are for relationships, not wine." --- Sir Robert Scott Caywood
  • "Beer is made by men, wine by God!" --- Martin Luther

  • "Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures."--- Michael Broadbent

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

  • [at his first sip of champagne] "Come quickly! I am tasting stars!" --- Dom Perignon

  • "Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age." --- Pope John XXIII

  • "Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that '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.'" --- Francis Bacon, 1624

  • "I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food." --- W. C. Fields

  • "Wine is life." --- Petronius, Roman writer

  • "He who aspires to be a serious wine drinker must drink claret." (“claret” is the British term for red Bordeaux) --- Samuel Johnson

  • "Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin." --- Napoleon

  • "No nation is drunken where wine is cheap, and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage." --- Thomas Jefferson

  • "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

  • "Life is too short to drink bad wine." --- Anonymous
  • "Clearly, the pleasures wines afford are transitory – but so are those of the ballet, or of a musical performance. Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the joy of living." --- Napoleon

  • "Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil." --- Lord Byron

  • "I love everything that’s old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine." --- Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer

  • "Wine … offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased." --- Ernest Hemingway

  • "My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." --- John Maynard Keynes

  • "[Making wine] is like having children; you love them all, but boy, are they different." --- Bunny Finkelstein ( co-owner of Judd’s Hill Winery)

  • "Wine... the intellectual part of the meal." --- Alexandre Dumas, 1873
  • "Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment of our wishes." --- Horace

  • "And wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." --- Alexander Pope

  • "A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover." --- Clifton Fadiman

  • When it comes to wine, I tell people to throw away the vintage charts and invest in a corkscrew. The best way to learn about wine is the drinking. --- Alexis Lichine

  • "If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul." --- Clifton Fadiman

  • "And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard." --- Genesis 9:20

  •           "So life’s year begins and closes;
                  Days though shortening still can shine;
               What though youth gave love and roses;
                  Age still leaves us friends and wine."
                                       ---Thomas Moore

  • "A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect" --- Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The first written reference to Champagne was English, not French! In 1676, Etherege wrote in praise of “sparkling Champagne” which “Quickly recovers / Poor laughing lovers, / Makes us frolic and gay, / and drowns all our sorrows.” The use of the adjective “sparkling” implies that some time prior to this the wines of the Champagne district were not necessarily sparkling.

  • "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." --- Attributed to a Bishop of Seville

  •           "The wine-cup is the little silver well,
                  Where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell."
                                      --- William Shakespeare

  • "It takes a lot of beer to make good wine." --- Lou Preston, Preston Vineyards

  • "Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized." --- André Simon
  • "I serve your Beaune to my friends, but your Volnay I keep for myself." --- Voltaire

  • When asked whether he ever confused a Bordeaux with a Burgundy in a blind tasting, British wine legend Harry Waugh replied: "Not since lunch."

  • "Within the bottle’s depths, the wine’s soul sang one night. --- Charles Baudelaire, French poet and critic

  • "My dear girl, there are some things that are just not done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ‘53 above the temperature of 38° Fahrenheit." --- James Bond in Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger

  • "Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues" --- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771

  • "Wine is at the head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary." - Babylonian Talmud: Baba Bathra

  • "Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure." --- Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 9:10

  • "During one of my treks through Afghanistan, we lost our corkscrew. We were compelled to live on food and water for several days." --- Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C. Fields) in My Little Chickadee, 1940

  • A man, fallen on hard times, sold his art collection but kept his wine cellar. When asked why he did not sell his wine, he said, “A man can live without art, but not without culture.” --- Anonymous

  • “I can certainly see you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret.” --- Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) in Fawlty Towers [“Claret” is an English term for red Bordeaux.]

  • “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

  • “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance." --- Attributed to Benjamin Franklin

  • “In the order named, these are the hardest to control: Wine, Women, and Song.” --- Franklin P. Adams, The Ancient Three. Dictionary of Quotations, Bergen Evans, 1968.

  • Bessie Braddock, a well-known socialist in England, attended a dinner party at which she was seated next to Winston Churchill who had had quite a bit to drink. She said to him, “Winston, you are drunk!” He replied, “Madame, I may be drunk, but you are ugly, and tomorrow I will be sober.”

  • “Never buy the cheapest wine in any category, as its taste may discourage you from going on. The glass, corks, cartons, and labor are about the same for any wine, as are the ocean freight and taxes for imported wines. Consequently, if you spend a little more, you are likely to get a better wine, because the other costs remain fixed. Cheap wine will always be too expensive.” --- Alex Bespaloff, New Signet Book of Wine, 1986

  • Before leaving home to serve a one year jail sentence, a “white collar” criminal was quoted as saying, “I’m not worried about the reds; they’ll keep OK. But I am worried about the whites.” --- Anonymous.

  • “The peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the vine.” --- Thucydides, Greek Historian, 5th century BCE.

  • “The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940. She was going out to get a bottle of wine. Two hours later, the Germans marched into France.” --- Sam Diamond in Murder by Death (1976)

  • The importance of wine shows up early in the Bible: And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.” --- Genesis 9:20.

  • “I made a mental note to watch which bottle became empty soonest, sometimes a more telling evaluation system than any other." --- Gerald Asher, On Wine, 1982

  • "Anyone who tries to make you believe that he knows all about wines is obviously a fake.” ---   Leon Adams, The Commonsense Book of Wine

  • Premier Cru” vineyards in Burgundy are those that are considered significantly better than the basic village wines. These vineyards are generally better situated in terms of slope, direction,and soil. Their wines get riper and give wines of greater character and depth.

  • “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, ‘The old is better.’” --- Luke 5:39

  • This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don’t want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste.” --- Count Mippipopolous in The Sun Also Rises, 1926, by Ernest Hemingway

  • “What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?” --- Larson E. Whipsnade (W.C. Fields), You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

  • “Great news!” she said after speaking to our doctor. “I have it on the highest medical authority that you will still be alive in 10 years! You know what this means?” she asked. “Of course I know what it means,” I replied. “It means we don’t have to drink up all our 1985 and 1986 Château Latour at supper tonight for fear I might die with several outrageously priced wines undrunk. For the first time in years, we can go to bed sober.” --- based on Russell Baker, New York Times, 12 May 1990.

  • “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.” --- Attributed to the late Julia Child.

  • Filmmaker and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola says, “The two professions are almost the same. Each depends on source material and takes a lot of time to perfect. The big difference is that today’s winemakers still worry about quality.”

  • Hardly did it appear, than from my mouth it passed into my heart.” -- Abbe de Challieu, 1715, upon first tasting Champagne.

  • “Between 5/22/85 and 5/4/88, the French writer Jean-Paul Kauffmann was held chained and often blindfolded in a Beirut basement [by a] Shiite Muslim fundamentalist group. A lover of Bordeaux, Mr. Kauffmann recited daily the list of the 61 greatest chateaux drawn up in 1855. He strove to conjure up the aroma of a Chateau Margaux or a Leoville-Poyferre. Occasionally a small miracle would occur, and the scent of black currants and plum would permeate the dusty heat of Lebanon.” --- Roger Cohen, “Ways of Doing Time,” New York Times, 5/4/97.

  • “I know never to take a wine for granted. Drawing a cork is like attendance at a concert or at a play that one knows well, when there is all the uncertainty of no two performances ever being quite the same. That is why the French say, ‘There are no good wines, only good bottles.’” --- Gerald Asher, On Wine, 1982.

  • “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.” --- Aristophanes, The Knights, 424 B. C. E.

  • “She gets to keep the chalet and the Rolls, I want the Montrachet.” ---  Anonymous, Forbes Magazine, May 6, 1996.

  • One should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice, and keep good time to music; and, lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him. --- Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness, c. 1340

  • “Before I was born my mother was in great agony of spirit and in a tragic situation. She could take no food except iced oysters and champagne. If people ask me when I began to dance, I reply ‘In my mother’s womb, probably as a result of the oysters and Champagne.’” ---  Attributed to Isadora Duncan

  • “Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say it makes him more pleasing to others.” --- Samuel Johnson, April 28, 1778

  • “That winter two things happened which made me see that the world, the flesh, and the devil were going to be more powerful influences in my life after all than the chapel bell.  First, I tasted champagne; second, the theater.” --- Belle Livingstone

  • “We may lay in a stock of pleasures as we would lay in a stock of wine, but if we defer tasting them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.” -- Charles Caleb Colton

  • Presenting the cork is wine nonsense, a ritual invented by captains and sommeliers. The wine snob doesn’t resent ritual. There is infinite ritual in the etiquette of serving wine. But most of it at least hints at style or purpose. Placing an unsightly cork on the tablecloth hints at absurdity. --- The Official Guide to Wine Snobbery, Leonard S. Bernstein, 1982.

  • “There are many wines that taste great, but do not drink well.” --- Michael Broadbent.

  • In response to a waiter who had offered him a Bromo Seltzer for a hangover, “Ye Gads, no! I couldn’t stand the noise.” --- W.C. Fields

  • “Twas Noah who first planted the vine
    And mended his morals by drinking its wine.” --- Attributed to Benjamin Franklin

  • “In victory, you deserve champagne; in defeat, you need it.” --- Many sources, including Kevin Zraly, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, 1997.

  • "Clearly, the pleasures wines afford are transitory, but so are those of the ballet or of a musical performance. Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the joy of living. ---  Napoleon

  • “A [restaurant] wine list is praised and given awards for reasons that have little to do with its real purpose, as if it existed only to be admired passively, like a stamp collection. A wine list is good only when it functions well in tandem with a menu.” ---  Gerald Asher

  • 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 counselor. Often...wine 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.

  • "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart." --- Psalms 104:14-15

  • A man will be eloquent if you give him good wine.” --- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Representative Man

  • "It seems to me that there are three things that have changed in the wine world. First, the wine rich got richer and the wine poor got poorer. By which I mean that wine prices have polarized beyond belief. Twenty years ago I drank the greatest wines of the world all the time. (I was a wine merchant and a restaurateur, and it was my job, darn it.)" --- the late Lee Evans of Australia, 1996.

  • "Wine experts can’t resist making predictions. In 1990, wine lover Richard Nixon prophesied that the Chinese would someday match the French in the quality of their wines; this despite a Chinese carte des vins that featured sweet red wine and a grape called Cow’s Nipple. In the mid-1980s, a well-known New York wine merchant asserted that an $8 Cabernet from Chile was as good as Lafite, and auction prices would eventually reflect this little-known fact. Wine coolers too, as I recall, were expected to expose a vast new market to the pleasures of wine drinking. The coolers bombed, [a nice bottle of Lafite will set you back $250 or more], and Chilean cabernet is still mostly eight bucks." --- Stephen Tanzer, Forbes, May 6, 1996

  • “Hemingway is great in that alone of living writers he has saturated his work with the memory of physical pleasure, with sunshine and salt water, with food, wine and making love and the remorse which is the shadow of that sun.” --- Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1951.

  • "Clearly, the pleasures wines afford are transitory, but so are those of the ballet or of a musical performance. Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the joy of living." --- Napoleon

  • On drinking the wines of Bordeaux: “The French drink them young, so a Socialist government won’t take them. The English drink them old, so they can show their friends cobwebs and dusty bottles. The American drink them exactly when they are ready, because they don’t know any better.” --- Anonymous

  • "For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red." --- Psalms 75:8

  • Making good wine is a skill; making fine wine is an art. --- Robert Mondavi

  • "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once. She drove me to drink; that’s the one thing I’m indebted to her for." --- W. C. Fields in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

  • “There is nothing like wine for conjuring up feelings of contentment and goodwill. It is less of a drink than an experience, an evocation, a spirit. It produces sensations that defy description.” --- Thomas Conklin, Wine: A Primer

  • "I am certain that the good Lord never intended grapes to be made into grape jelly." --- Attributed to Fiorello La Guardia, former mayor of New York City

  • "When it comes to wine, I tell people to throw away the vintage charts and invest in a corkscrew. The best way to learn about wine is the drinking." --- Alexis Lichine.

  • An urbane, middle-aged acquaintance who has discovered fine wine, is hurrying to make up for lost time. He wants to know everything before the sun sets today. “What periodicals should I buy?” he asks, reeling off a prospective subscription list that would drown the Library of Congress. My acquaintance, who perhaps does not yet fully appreciate what he is up against, easily gets to the bottom of his wine glass, but he will never get to the bottom of what there is to know about wine. --- Howard G. Goldberg, NY Times, October 7, 1987.

  •  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” ---  Revelation 6:6.  

  • "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.

  • "Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.  It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully." --- Graham Greene

  • "The wines that one remembers best are not necessarily the finest that one has tasted, and the highest quality may fail to delight so much as some far more humble beverage drunk in more favorable surroundings."  --- H. Warner Allen, A Contemplation of Wine.

  • "A typical wine writer was once described as someone with a typewriter who was looking for his name in print, a free lunch, and a way to write off his wine cellar. It’s a dated view. Wine writers now use computers." --- Frank Prial, The New York Times, January 21, 1998.

  • "Wine is the blood of France." --- Louis Bertall, La Vigne, 1878

  • Wine History: Baron James Rothschild sent the famous composer Rossini (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 did. --- Lillie de Hergermann-Lindencrone, In the Courts of Memory.

  • "Before Noah, men having only water to drink, could not find the truth. Accordingly they became abominably wicked, and they were justly exterminated by the water they loved to drink. This good man, Noah, having seen that all his contemporaries had perished by this unpleasant drink, took a dislike to it; and G-d, to relieve his dryness, created the vine and revealed to him the art of making wine. By the aid of this liquid, he revealed more and more truth." --- Attributed to Benjamin Franklin in Bottled Wisdom, compiled and edited by Mark Pollman, 1998

  • "He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate - bringing forth food from the earth: wine that makes glad the heart of man." --- Psalms 104:14

  • "This wine should be eaten, for it is much too good to be drunk." --- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

  • "And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined." ---  Isaiah 25:6

  • “Mr. Tulkinghorn sits at one of the open windows, enjoying a bottle of old port. Though a hard-grained man, close, dry, and silent, he can enjoy old wine with the best. He has a priceless bin of port in some artful cellar under the Fields, which is one of his many secrets. When he dines alone in chambers, as he has dined today, and has his bit of fish and his steak or chicken brought in from the coffeehouse, he descends with a candle to the echoing regions below the deserted mansion, and, heralded by the remote reverberation of thundering doors, comes gravely back, encircled by an earthy atmosphere and carrying a bottle from which he pours a radiant nectar, two score and ten years old, that blushes in the glass to find itself so famous, and fills the whole room with the fragrance of southern grapes.” --- Charles Dickens, Bleak House.

  • "Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
         Sermons and soda-water the day after." --- Lord Byron, Don Juan

  • Take counsel in wine, but resolve afterwards in water." --- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac.

  • "All wine associations are with occasions when people are at their best; with relaxation, contentment, leisurely meals, and the free flow of ideas." --- Hugh Johnson

  • "There are no standards of taste in wine, cigars, poetry, prose, etc. Each man's own taste is the standard, and a majority vote cannot decide for him or in any slightest degree affect the supremacy of his own standard." --- Mark Twain, 1895

  • "Wine rejoices the heart of man, and joy is the mother of all virtues." --- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771

  • “De gustibus non est disputandum (There is no disputing matters of taste.)”

  • An elderly wine lover was badly injured in a railway collision. Some wine was poured on his lips to revive him. "Pauillac, 1873," he murmured and died. --- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), The 
    Devil's Dictionary, 1911

  • "Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable unto him. A new friend is as new wine: when it is old thou shalt drink it with pleasure." --- Isaiah 9.10

  • "Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil." --- Lord Byron

  • "Food and wine. Decide which is the soloist, which the accompanist." --- Michael Broadbent

  • "Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably." --- Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, 1944

  • "Name me any liquid except our own blood that flows more intimately and incessantly through the labyrinth of symbols we have conceived to make our status as human beings, from the rudest peasant festival to the mystery of the Eucharist. To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of the river of human history." --- Clifton Fadiman, NY Times, 3/8/87

  • "A woman drove me to drink, and I'll be a son-of-a-gun but I never even wrote to thank her." --- W. C. Fields, in Hollywood Merry-Go-Round, 1947

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

  • "There are many ways to the recognition of truth, and Burgundy is one of them." --- Isak Dinesen

  • As one California winemaker said, "We release no wine before the bank tells us that its ready." --- Kevin Zraly, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, 1997

  • Readers often wonder what the difference is between an 86 and an 87, both very good wines. The only answer I can give is a simple one: when tasted side by side, I thought the 87-point wine slightly better than the 86-point wine. --- Robert Parker, Bordeaux, 1989

  • Wine drunken with moderation is the joy of the soul and the heart. --- Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 31:36

  • Just use a little red wine; it will get that club soda stain right out of there --- About Last Night

  • To buy good wine and not look after it properly is like not polishing your Rolls-Royce. --- Hugh Johnson

  • Drink wine, drink poetry, drink virtue. --- Charles Baudelaire.

  • "Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." --- Dave Barry

  • To pontificate, to let opinions rule your appreciation of wine and to be unable to feel, as the candles glitter and the moon rises on a warm summer night, that the wine on the table, however unsung and lacking in renown, is, for that short moment, perfection itself, is to miss the whole heart of wine and of life too. --- Quoted in Wine Quotations, Helen Exley, 1994

  • A meal without wine is like a life without love. --- Anonymous

  • Some people spend the day in complaining of a headache, and the night in drinking the wine that gives it. --- Attributed to Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Wine snobbery, of course, is part showmanship, part sophistication, part knowledge, and part bluff --- Leonard Bernstein

  • A man cannot make him laugh, but that's no marvel; he drinks no wine. --- Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2

  • "I can certainly see you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret." --- Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) in Fawlty Towers.

  • Wine is made to be drunk as women are made to be loved; profit by the freshness of youth or the splendor of maturity; do not await decrepitude. --- Theophile Malvezin

  • He who loves not wine, women, and song remains a fool his whole life long. --- often attributed to Martin Luther; probably Johann Heinrich Voss.

  • Never say the number because it suggest that you are unable to pronounce the name of the wine you are ordering. --- Stephen Potter, One Upsmanship

  • "Remember, gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!" --- Winston Churchill.

  • Drink wine, and live here blitheful while ye may;
          The morrow’s life too late is; live to-day. --- Robert Herrick, "To Youth"

  • "Ah. Fortune smiles. Another day of wine and roses. Or, in your case, beer and pizza!" --- Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995)

  • "This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don’t want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste." --- Count Mippipopolous in The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway (1926)

  • "Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right." --- Mark Twain

  • "I’m like old wine. They don’t bring me out very often, but I’m well preserved." --- Rose Kennedy on her 100th birthday in 1991

  • "What is better adapted than the festive use of wine in the first place to test and in the second place to train the character of a man, if care be taken in the use of it? What is there cheaper or more innocent?" --- Plato

  • "I loved the [story] about how a great wine connoisseur invited the composer Johannes Brahms to dinner. ‘This is the Brahms of my cellar,’ he said to his guests, producing a dust-covered bottle and pouring some into the master’s glass. Brahms looked first at the color of the wine, then sniffed its bouquet, finally took a sip, and put the glass down without saying a word. ‘Don’t you like it?’ asked the host. ‘Hmmmm,’ Brahms muttered. ‘Better bring out your Beethoven!’" --- Arthur Rubinstein, the great classical pianist, My Young Years

  • "A man will be eloquent if you give him good wine." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Representative Man"

  • Overheard at The Diner in Yountville, California in the Napa Valley: "How do you make a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large fortune and buy a winery." --- Kevin Zraly, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, 1997

  • "Wine is an appropriate article for mankind, both for the healthy body and for the ailing man." --- Attributed to Hippocrates.

  • "I’m only a beer teetotaler, not a champagne teetotaler. I don’t like beer." --- Proserpine in Candida by George Bernard Shaw

  • "Where there is no wine, there is no love." --- Attributed to Euripedes (ca. 480 - 406 BCE), one of the three great playwrights (of tragedies) in ancient Greece

  • James Bond, after finding out that Grant is a double agent: "Red wine with fish. Well, that should have told me something." From Russia with Love (1963)

  • Ivan: Why do you take aspirin with champagne?
    Alice: Oh, champagne gives me a headache. --- Author! Author! (1982)

  • "He talked with more claret than clarity." --- Attributed to Susan Ertz (1894-1985), British novelist, born in England to American parents 

  • "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses." --- 1 Timothy 5:23

  • Definition: CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else. --- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

  • "No critic should forget, as he dallies with epithets, sipping his oak-fermented Chardonnay, or rates one precious bottle half a point behind another, that wine is one of the miracles of nature, and that its 10,000 years of partnership with man has not removed that element of mystery, that independent life that alone among all our foods has made men think of it as divine." --- Hugh Johnson, Wine

  • "This is one of the disadvantages of wine; it makes a man mistake words for thoughts." --- Samuel Johnson, 1778

  • "Making good wine is a skill; making fine wine is an art." --- Robert Mondavi

  • "If Claret is the king of natural wines, Burgundy is the queen." --- Attributed to Moliere

  • A man cannot make him laugh. But that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine. ---  Henry IV Part 2, William Shakespeare

  • What man can pretend to be a believer in love who is an abjurer of wine? --- Richard Brinsley Sheridan: The School for Scandal.

  • When there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wing. --- Attributed to Ovid, The Art of Love (circa C.E. 8)

  • Filtering wine is like making love with a condom. Acidifying wine is like putting a suit of armor on the vineyard's terroir, vintage character, and the cépage (varietal or varietals). - Michel Chapoutier

  • There is evil [sometimes translated as "a devil"] in every grape. --- The Koran

  • According to local legend, the great French white wine, Corton-Charlemagne, owes its existence not to the emperor but to his wife. The red wines of Corton stained his white beard so messily that she persuaded him to plant vines that would produce white wines. Charlemagne ordered white grapes to be planted. Thus Corton-Charlemagne.

  • A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover. --- Clifton Fadiman, New York Times, March 8, 1987

  • "At the Royall Oake Taverne, I drank a sort of French wine called Ho Bryan, that hath a good and most particular taste that I never met with." --- from the diary of Samuel Pepys, 1663. (This was the first named Bordeaux chateau wine. It is now called Haut-Brion.)

  • Confucius once said that plain rice to eat, water to drink, and onefs arm as a pillow were quite enough for earthly happiness. Confucius was a wise and gentle soul, but he never tasted champagne. --- Anonymous

  • "What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?" --- Isak Dinesen [1885-1962], Seven Gothic Tales

  • Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more.- Proverbs31:6-7

  • Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine. --- Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop, 1841

  • It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance. --- Shakespeare (1606), Macbeth, Act II, Scene 3

  • You can be killed, you can be deprived of wine until the end of your days; but no God, no man, can take from you the last sliding residue of a Bordeaux on your tongue. . . . It is a pure event. --- Attributed to Jean-Paul Sartre.

 


LIFE QUOTES, QUESTIONS, AND CLASSIC INSULTS

  • “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.” --- Mark Twain

  • “The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.”  --- George Burns

  • “Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.” --- Winston Churchill

  • “Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” --- Anonymous

  • Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.”

  • “If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.” --- Anonymous

  • “If you don’t think too good, don’t think too much.” --- attributed to Ted Williams by Tom & Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk.

  • What if there were no hypothetical questions?

  • I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

  • Money can’t buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery. --- Spike Milligan

  • If quizes are quizzical, what are tests?

  • I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize. --- Steven Wright

  • In the 60s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

  • There are two theories about arguing with women. Neither one works.

  • “Borrow money from pessimists - they don’t expect it back.” --- Stephen Wright

  • Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. --- Murphy’s Other Laws

  • Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end you try first?

  • New Law: The Law of Coffee states that as soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

  • “I had a rose named after me, and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: “No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

  • "By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher." --- Socrates

  • Life Question: Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

  • Life Question: How is it possible to have a civil war?

  • Life Question: Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that’s falling off the table, you always manage to knock something else over?

  • "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." --- Ronald Reagan

  • If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

  • The Law of Cell Phones: The louder the phone voice, the duller the conversation.

  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. --- Steven Wright

  • We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.  --- Will Rogers

  • If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

  • If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

  • The Buffalo Theory of Drinking: A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo, and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the culling of the weakest members. In much the same way the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But it naturally attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

  • Classic Insult: In an exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor, she said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.” He replied, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

  • Classic Insult: A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

  • Classic Insult: “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” ---  William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway). “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” ---  Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

  • Classic Insult: "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." --- Abraham Lincoln

  • “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”  Clarence Darrow

  • Classic Insult: “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” --- Winston Churchill

  • Classic Insult: “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” - Winston Churchill

  • The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends. - Zen Sarcasm

  • Classic Insult: "He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

  • Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving." --- Zen Sarcasm

  • The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement. --- Zen Sarcasm

  • Classic Insult: “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” --- Billy Wilder

  • Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes. --- Zen Sarcasm

  • "If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something." --- Steven Wright

  • Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

  • What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things. --- Margaret Mead

  • Classic Insult: I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. --- Mark Twain

  • Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but you still can’t help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs. --- Anonymous

  • Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. - Zen Sarcasm

  • Duct tape is like 'The Force.' It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together. --- Zen Sarcasm

  • No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously. --- Zen Sarcasm

  • Wrightism: 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  • We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. --- Will Rogers

  • Zen Sarcasm: Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

  • Zen Sarcasm: Some days you're the windshield; some days you're the bug.

  • I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back. --- Zsa Zsa Gabor

  • Wrightism: Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

  • Definition: Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

  • Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it! --- Anonymous

  • Trading Insults: "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one." --- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." --- Winston Churchill, in response.

  • What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things. --- Margaret Mead, anthropologist

  • Classic Insult: They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge. --- Thomas Brackett Reed

  • What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others. --- Pericles, (Greek politician, general, and statesman, 495 BCE - 429 BCE)

  • Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death --- Albert Einstein

  • Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today. --- James Dean, 1931-1955

  • Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. --- Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900

  • "No one ever became poor from giving." "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." --- Anneliese Marie Frank (Anne Frank) who would have turned 82 years old June 12th, 2011.

  • Wright-ism: If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

  • If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. --- Zen Sarcasm

  • Classic Insult: "He uses statistics as drunken men use lamp-posts. For support rather than illumination." --- Andrew Lang (Scot poet, novelist, literary critic, anthropologist, collector of folk and fairy tales, and writer of historical figures, mythology, and religion; 1844-1912)

  • Wright-ism: The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

  • "Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." --- John W. Gardner

  • "The difference between school and life? In school you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson." --- Tom Bodett

  • "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." --- Maria Robinson

  • Ever stop to think, and forget to start again? --- A. A. Milne, English author and playwright best known for his Winne-the-Pooh books, 1882-1956

  • Classic Insult: "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." --- Mae West

  • "A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even in paradise." --- Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), the Persian founder of the Bahá'í Faith

  • Political Quote: "Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so." --- Gore Vidal

  • Political Quote: "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." --- Plato

  • Political Quote: "Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river." --- Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union from 1958 until 1964

  • Political Quote: "Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." --- Ronald Reagan

  • Political Quote: "I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." --- Charles de Gaulle, French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces from exile during World War II, founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958, and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969.

  • Political Quote: "Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other." --- Oscar Ameringer

  • Political Quote: Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy. --- Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. --- Murphy's Other Laws

  • Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.--- Phyllis Diller (1917-2012)

  • Classic Insult: "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." --- Charles, Count Talleyrand. Talleyrand (1754-1838) was a fascinating and controversial figure in French history. A bishop despite being a nonbeliever, he turned against the Catholic Church at the beginning of the French Revolution and was excommunicated. He initially supported Napoleon and became a foreign minister, but he later broke with Napoleon and worked with foreign governments against him. He was involved with the deposition of Napoleon and the reestablishment of the Bourbons as monarchs. He again became a diplomat and was instrumental in the relations between France and other major European powers as well as Russia. It was not always clear which side he was working for. Talleyrand was a great conversationalist, gourmande, and wine connoisseur. He even owned the famous Chateau Haut-Brion from 1801 until 1804!

  • "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching." --- Anonymous

  • "A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well." - Anonymous

  • "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself." --- Mark Twain

  • Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. --- Anonymous

  • Oliver’s Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.

  • Political Quote: There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. --- Will Rogers

  • Classic Insult: There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure. - Jack E. Leonard

  • If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? --- Scott Adams

  • Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. --- Victor Borge

  • All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism. --- Anonymous

  • By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, hefs too old to go anywhere. --- Billy Crystal

  • Paraprosdokian (a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected): Where there's a will, I want to be in it. --- No one takes credit (or blame)

  • Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy. --- Unknown

  • Too Good Not To Be True: The great mathematician and theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was also a reasonably good amateur violinist. His circle of friends included many professional musicians who often invited him to join them in playing. During one quartet rehearsal, Einstein repeatedly made wrong entrances. The exasperated pianist, Artur Schnabel, eventually turned to him and said: "For heaven's sake, Albert, can't you count?"

  • Wright-ism: The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

  • Wright-ism: The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  • Murphy's Other Laws: The shinbone is a device for finding furniture.

 


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