Well Read Wednesdays: Wine and War

Well read Wednesday last night and though I finished “Wine and War” a month ago, I enjoyed it so much I wanted to create a post and used our well read wine night Wednesday to do so. We enjoyed some Picpoul de Pinet last night, which was our first time drinking this grape. It’s from the Languedoc region.

Here are the top 10 quotes from the book I thought represented the French mindset and philosophies of wine and life so well. If you enjoy wine and war history you will love it. Definitely go out and pick this book up!

  • Our wines evolve slowly and nobly carrying with them the hopes of prolonged life, explained one wine grower. We know our land was here before we came and that it will be here long after we are gone. With our wine we have survived wars…Each harvest renews promises made in the spring. We live with the continuing cycle. This gives us a taste of eternity.
    • AUO: I enjoyed the perspective of this and where we as humans really fall in the grand scheme of the universe
  • Advertising is wrong, one winemaker said. We should never advertise. If our wine is good, people will come to us.
    • AUO: I love this mentality and I wish more people in the US would adopt it.
  • One day whether in five months or in five years, this war will be over, and France will still be next to Germany. We will still have to live together.
    • AUO: Treat your enemy well even in the worst of times. you never know what the future holds. Not sure how many people could say those words.
  • To underscore how desperate the situation was, the doctors cited a visit they made to a nursing home where they found several elderly patients pretending to be near death. “We asked them why they were doing that. We said, “Don’t you want to get well, don’t you want to go home?” They replied,”No here if the staff thinks you are dying, they give you wine with your lunch twice a week.”
    • AUO: So French and so awesome.
  • God made man, Frail as a bubble; God made love-Love made trouble, God made the vine—Was it a sin, That man made wine, To drown trouble in?
    • AUO: Fun little rhyme.
  • That’s the thing, Ribaud said, “It all depends on who and what you drink them with. Haven’t ever had a cheap little rosé with a special girl and thought, ‘this is great!’”
    • AUO: for all the knocks on the French and their views of their wine vs. others, it is they who recognize what truly matters (as long as wine is present of course!)
  • I want this book to be for everyone, Ribaud told the others, “not just for rich people. I want to be able to show that with all the wonderful things our Frances produces, everyone can live well and have a decent wine cellar. This is the responsibility of the maître de maison.
    • AUO: enjoy that winemakers view everyone should have the right to good life to the point where they can have a cellar.
  • I can hardly tell you…the terrible consequences of such a decision. It would mean war, mechanized war, among the grand crus! Would France forgive us if we allowed such a thing to happen? We must not forget 1870. …Great news, mon colonel we have found the weak point in the German defenses. Every one is on a vineyard of inferior quality.
    • AUO: Umm, yes! Awesome quote.
  • He always said that when you are hiring someone, look at the quality of the person. It is very easy to find a good technician; it’s much harder and more important to have a good person. Robert to his son Maurice Drouhin
    • AUO: this again shows the French values I’ve seen throughout the countryside and how rare this is in the corporate US world.
  • In my meditations, I find that nothing in life counts more than the happiness we can give others, the good that we can do. This is what we must teach our children, to think of others more than they think of themselves, for it is in this way they will find the most noble satisfaction of all. -Maurice Drouhin
    • AUO: same feeling as the quote above.

Quotes are courtesy of Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure by Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup

Happy reading!



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