France is a world-leader when it comes to producing wine, so it is no surprise that we also quite enjoy drinking it! Who doesn’t enjoy a heavenly glass of wine at the end of a long day? A time to reflect philosophically after a busy day, and revel in the moment with family, friends and a good bottle from one of your favorite producers.
Living in France for 10+ years, I’ve heard quite a few lovely quotes in the language of love, that I’d love to share with you. Here are a few delicious French wine quotes and sayings that will make you smile, chuckle, and reach that glass for a sip as well. Santé!
☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines
1. Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire.
Translation: When the wine is poured, it must be drunk.
The obvious must be said, you don’t waste good wine. If the wine has been poured, there is no need to pour it down the drain. Sit back and relax in your favorite chair, with a lovely piece of music and your favorite Bordeaux, maybe?
2. L’eau fait pleurer, le vin fait chanter.
Translation: Water makes one cry, wine makes one sing.
This could be an ode to wine: Why drink water when wine is available? It should be noted that in the Middle Ages, water purification systems were not what they are right now. It was considered safer to drink wine and mead, rather than water.
3. La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin.
Translation: Life is too short to drink bad wine.
The sommelier is not uncorking the wine in front of you and serving it for a tasting just for fun. If the wine is bad, this is your moment to express your discontent. There is no need to continue drinking wine that has turned.
4. Le vin entre et la raison sort.
Translation: Wine enters and reason leaves.
Everything in moderation, but if you do indulge, do try to keep your wits about you. As we all know, when wine enters the room, all reason leaves.
5. Que le soleil soit clair et beau, nous aurons du vin plus que d’eau.
Translation: May the sun be clear and beautiful, and we will have more wine than water.
Some of the most popular wines in France are from the sun-drenched vineyards of the Côtes du Rhone and Châteauneuf-du-Pape areas near Provence and French Riviera.
Beautiful sunny days in summer means that there is a greater likelihood of a bountiful grape harvest in the fall.
6. Le vin est un lubrifiant social.
Translation: Wine is a social lubricant.
If you ever feel like a wallflower at a party, a sip of wine can always be counted on to reduce those nerves. As I said above, everything in moderation. (And that includes French wine sayings!)
7. Le vin fait surnager les secrets.
Translation: Wine makes secrets emerge.
Because when you do indulge a bit too much, you never know how things are going to turn out! Some things are just better left unsaid, no? As the saying in English goes, “loose lips sink ships”.
8. Le pain et le vin, c’est la vie du pèlerin.
Translation: Bread and wine, it is the pilgrim’s life.
It is all you need some bread and wine.
This doesn’t quite go with one of the most famous romantic French quotes which says “On ne peut vivre d’amour et d’eau fraîche“, meaning “We can live on love and fresh water”, but there you go.
Which one is more romantic, I let you decide.
9. Repas sans vin, repas chagrin.
Translation: A meal without wine is a sad meal.
This wine quote doesn’t pull any punches, your meal needs a bottle of wine. I should mention here that in France, if you are having an apéritif (pre-dinner drink), it is usually not wine and you usually have to finish your drink before dinner starts.
So all this to say there are no sodas or beer allowed, for dinner you have a choice of wine or water.
☞ READ MORE: 32 of the funniest French Food Idioms
10. Le vin est le lait des vieillards.
Translation: Wine is the milk of old people.
If you are visiting Paris, there is a famous fondue restaurant in Montmartre called Le Refuge de Fondue which actually serves wine in baby bottles. It is not the best wine in the world (likely vin du table), but with two types of fondue to choose from it makes for quite the festive atmosphere.
11. Le champagne doit être au vin ce que la haute couture est à la mode.
Translation: Champagne has to be to wine what haute couture is to fashion.
This one is an interesting one because if you’ve read my article on Champagne and the different types of Champagne, you have heard me mention that there are many regions in France like the Loire Valley and Alsace that use the same sparkling wine process as Champagne. It is just that they don’t have the allure of Champagne.
These white sparkling wines are called crémants and are not as widely exported as the Italian proseccos. Nonetheless, if you have a handbag from Chanel, are you really happy with Zara?
12. Le vin est de l’eau emplie de soleil.
Translation: Wine is water filled with sunshine.
This wine quote always makes me think of rosés from Provence, light and airy, a perfect compliment to a hot summer’s day. Could there be anything better?
13. Christ n’a pas changé le vin en eau, mais l’eau en vin.
Translation: Christ didn’t change wine into water, but water into wine.
France may be a secular country these days, but it wasn’t always the case. This French wine saying has been around since the ages, and speaks to the importance of wine and religion in French culture.
14. Après bon vin, bon coussin.
Translation: After a good wine, a good pillow.
And after all that wine, it is time for bed of course. Rest easy 😉
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