There’s a lot of wisdom in a bottle of wine. You know that because as you drink, you find yourself musing on all aspects of life, and conversation becomes so much more interesting. Here, we’ve collected 10 of the best wine sayings. They’re drawn from across the wine drinking world, and over the centuries. What they have to say could completely change your life, or just improve your next dinner.
The Wine Sayings You Need to Know
1) What Grows Together, Goes Together
This is a great rule of thumb for choosing wine in a hurry. If you know a certain wine comes from a coastal region, it’s likely to go with the seafood of the country that it comes from. Similarly, if it comes from an inland region, the chances are that it’ll match a region’s agricultural based food. That’s because the winemakers in an area would make wine that tasted good with the food that they ate every day. For some awesome pairings based on this principle, read ‘What Grows Together Goes Together: Regional Food and Wine Pairings’.
2) The Greater the Smoke, The Greater the Oak
This is another excellent rule for understanding oakiness in a wine. The smokier the food tastes, the more oak aging the wine needs to have had in order to taste good in combination with the dish. Unoaked wine with barbecued meat will be overwhelmed with the flavours from the food. By comparison, there’s not much point choosing a wine that’s spent five years aging in a cask if the meat has been steamed.
3) Life is Too Short for Crap Wine
Seriously. There are lots of good bottles of wine around, and you don’t need to drink something which you hate. If you don’t know what the good bottles are, wine critics will happily tell you. Our database even has a special section of wine recommended by Robert Parker, the internationally renowned critic, and we put scores next to highly rated wine.
4) “I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W. C. Fields
Fields was onto something. You should only cook with wine that you’re prepared to drink. That’s because if it’s awful in the glass, it’ll just add those terrible flavours to your meal. Similarly, bland wine won’t add much to a dish. Also pair the wine that you’re cooking with with the meal, as I have an unfortuate memory of adding a very floral Beaujolais to a bolognese. The result was that a traditionally tomatoey meat dish tasted of flowers.
5) “I spent ninety percent of my money on wine, women and song, and just wasted the other ten percent.”
Can you buy happiness? Psychologists have looked into the issue and come up with a very clear ‘sort of’. First of all, you need enough money to take care of your daily needs. After that, extra money doesn’t add to your happiness, unless you spend it on experiences that you enjoy. Status objects will do nothing for you. Yet experiences like good wine that you enjoy will add pleasure to your life.
6) “Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
Pope John XXII
Speaking from the 14thC., His Holiness hit on a timeless truth. Over the years, a wine’s acidity, sweetness, tannin and flavour expression come into balance if there’s potential. Or the wine spoils. Also with the right fundamentals, people come into balance over their lifespan, or turn bad.
7) “Marriage is like wine. It is not to be properly judged until the second glass.”
Douglas William Jerrold
Wine often improves on a second tasting. Recently, I tried Moscatel de Valencia, and on the first glass, I thought it was only so-so. Yet on the second, it tasted like a liquid slice of lemon pie, with interesting sherbet and bitter lemon notes. It’s now become quite a favourite for me. Also, relationships change, and marriages have to last beyond that first flush of romance. There’s no reason they can’t also get better with time like a delicious bottle of Spanish moscatel.