Although many people may believe the contrary, I am convinced that wine brings out the best in all of us … if, by best, we mean our true, unadulterated, unedited selves. When Pliny the Elder wrote, “in vino veritas,” (In wine there is truth) followed by “in acqua sanitas” (in water there is health) he was at least half-right. Whenever I hear that expression bandied about, I like to cite the famous Ben Franklin misquote:
“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”
The reason the above is a misquote is because it was not until Louis Pasteur’s discoveries in the 1870s (a century after Benjamin Franklin) that the term “bacteria” was used in connection with germs and disease. This is another famous apocrypha that sounds so good it simply must be true. Consequently, it sounds better and better after each successive glass of wine. In parallel (and complementary) fashion, it is best enjoyed in the moment … of drinking, of course. This is where we particularly enjoy to wax wise – with the conjuring of a philosophy of enjoying things in the moment, of the famous Horatian axiom, “Carpe diem” (Seize the day).
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