The Praises and Prejudices of Wine

When I was writing The Cartoon Guide to Recreational Drugs I scoured the local libraries and bookstores looking for useful and interesting historical works. The Praises and Prejudices of Wine is one of my sources.

The parts I generally took notes from were either about the drugs themselves or the prohibition of drugs. You’ll find the information garnered from these books throughout the Prohibition Politics section of this site. It will also have informed some of my own postings stored in the older Prohibition Politics archive.

If you find this information useful, you will want to search out the books themselves to read the text in context. All of the books here are at least moderately interesting.


Bruce S. Lane’s quotes provide a fascinating collection of historical, religious, and literary quotes about the wonders of wine. However, I’m not sure how trustworthy they are. I’d double check before using any of these.

“In bringing the Catawba grape into public notice with my vineyards, I have rendered my country a greater service than I could have done had I paid off the public debt.”—Major John Adlum (1759-1836)

“Plant no tree sooner than the vine.”—Alcaeus (580 BC)

God in His goodness sent the grape
To cheer both great and small;
Little fools will drink too much
And great fools none at all.

“Champagne with foaming whirls, as white as Cleopatra’s melted pearls.”—Lord Byron (1788-1824)

“Wine was given us by God, not that we might be drunken, but that we might be sober. It is the best medicine when it has the best moderation to direct it. Wine was given to restore the body’s weakness, not to overturn the soul’s strength.”—St. Chrysostom

“Eat thy bread with joy and drink thy wine with a merry heart.”—Ecclesiastes 9:7

“Wine is a civilizing agent. The Founding Fathers, if recollection serves, were all wine drinkers; some subtle coarsening, a slight lowering of the national tone, made its entrance with Andrew Jackson and his gang of corn liquor devotees.”—Clifton Fadiman

“We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage, in Cana, as a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes., Behold the rain, which desends from Heaven upon our vineyards, and which enters into the vine-roots to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of necessity, which required it.”—Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“There are more old wine drinkers than old doctors.”—German Proverb

“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 (1743-1826)

“My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne.”—John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

“There is a devil in every berry of the grape!”—The Koran

“No thing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God.”—Plato (427-347 BC)

“The cheapness of wine seems to be a cause, not of drunkenness, but of sobriety.”—Adam Smith (1723-1790)