Quotes about Champagne & Sparkling Wines

Let us finish this bottle and open another. Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie-detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie-detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully. ~Graham Greene (1904–1991), Travels With My Aunt, 1969

Half the night I watch the Heavens
Fizz like ’81 champagne…
~Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), “La Nuit Blanche,” 1887

I’ll stick with gin. Champagne is just ginger ale that knows somebody. ~M*A*S*H, “Ceasefire,” 1973, teleplay by Laurence Marks & Larry Gelbart  [S1, E23, Hawkeye –tg]

Here’s to champagne, the drink divine,
That makes us forget our troubles;
It’s made of a dollar’s worth of wine
And three dollars worth of bubbles.
~Smart Toasts for the Smart Set, published by James Sullivan, 1902

I don’t think I’ve ever drunk champagne before breakfast before. With breakfast on several occasions, but never before, before. ~Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote  [Paul Varjak –tg]

Delicious, effervescent, cold Champagne,
Imprisoned sunshine, glorious and bright,
How many virtues in thy charm unite?
Who from thy tempting witchery can abstain?…
~Francis S. Saltus (1849–1889), “Champagne Frappé,” published posthumously in Flasks and Flagons, 1891

Great Spirit of the grape—delirious kiss
Of lips immortal from the sky,
Rare Nectar of Olympus, born of bliss,
Bright spark of Aphrodite’s eye…
~Elmina Ella Susannah Elliott Atkinson (1867–1931), Confessions of a Chorus Girl, 1903  [Published under the pseudonym Madge Merton. –tg]

Lily on liquid roses floating!
So floats yon foam o’er pink Champagne.
Fain would I join such pleasant boating,
And prove that ruby main,
And float away on wine!…
~John Kenyon (1784–1856), “Champagne Rosé,” 1836  [Anacreontic first line improvised while looking at the bubbles in a glass of pink champagne; having been challenged to complete it on the spot he finished the four-stanza poem in fewer than twenty minutes. Alternatively titled “The Wager.” –tg]

’T was ever thus from childhood’s hour—
I’ve seen my fond hopes disappear;
I’ve always had a champagne thirst,
But have to be content with beer.
~Anonymous, “A Poet’s Wail,” c. 1890

Fair queen of wines, long be thy merry reign. ~Francis S. Saltus (1849–1889), “Champagne Frappé,” published posthumously in Flasks and Flagons, 1891

A wine esthete pokes his sensitive beak into a glass of Champagne. Then, head thrown back, eyes closed, and visage wreathed in an other-worldly smile, he incants: “I see… I see… yes, I see a young girl in white, barefooted, running across a vast green lawn, long hair flowing.” ~Frank J. Prial (1930–2012), “Words, Words, Words,” 1987

Nectar strained to finest gold,
Sweet as Love, as Virtue cold.
~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), “To Champagne,” A Book of Toasts, 1902

Then give me champagne! and contentment be mine!
Women, wealth, and ambition—I cast them away.
My garlanded forehead let vine-leaves entwine!
And life shall to me be one long summer’s day,
With the tears of the clustering grape for its rain,
And its sunshine—the bright golden floods of champagne!
~George Whyte-Melville (1821–1878), “A Word for Champagne,” Passages in the Life of Tilbury Nogo, Esq.; or, The Adventures of an Unsuccessful Man, 1851  [Originally published under the pseudonym Foxglove. –tg]

Every time a champagne bottle pops, a party angel gets its wings. ~Terri Guillemets, “Party angels,” 1993

There is no pitch which attaches men to one another like champagne; it seals every matter of business, especially the deepest. ~Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), “How Much Love Costs Old Men,” 1843, Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans, translated by Ellery Sedgwick, 1895

To fizz that makes us happy! ~Elmina Ella Susannah Elliott Atkinson (1867–1931), Confessions of a Chorus Girl, 1903  [Published under the pseudonym Madge Merton. –tg]

Champagne’s real place is not at a dinner, but at a ball. A cavalier may appropriately offer, at propitious intervals, a glass now and then to his danceress. There, it takes its fitting rank and position amongst feathers, gauzes, lace, embroidery, ribbons, white satin shoes, and eau de Cologne. It is simply one of the elegant extras of life… But we must not let it give itself too many airs because it is a dandy gentleman. It ought not to push into the background of neglect and disesteem, the more solid and generally useful elixirs of life. ~“A Bottle of Champagne,” Household Words. A Weekly Journal, Conducted by Charles Dickens, 1855 February 17th

To me thy sparkling souvenir recalls
Grand Boulevards, all dazzling with the glare
Of countless lights; the revel and uproar
Of midnight Paris and the Opera balls…
~Francis S. Saltus (1849–1889), “Champagne Frappé,” published posthumously in Flasks and Flagons, 1891

And then there was champagne, with foaming whirls
As white as Cleopatra’s melted pearls.
~Lord Byron (1788–1824), Don Juan, 1819–1824

It is a true proverb that champagne at night is a real pain in the morning. ~Elmina Ella Susannah Elliott Atkinson (1867–1931), Confessions of a Chorus Girl, 1903  [Published under the pseudonym Madge Merton. –tg]

Flattery is like champagne; it soon goes to the head. ~Proverb

But Oh! these sparkling drops of bliss
From vine-crowned towers of Rheims,
That touch my lips like a woman’s kiss
And light my heart like flames!
~Martin Maginnis (1841–1919)

A champagne glass,
      A woman’s lips,
Oh, they go well together.
When sparkling wine
      Young beauty sips
If a man question whether
It’s wise for him
      To rest his gaze
Upon a sight which troubles.
He hesitates,
      He’s lost, he stays,
And buys a million bubbles.
~Elizabeth Gordon, “He Who Hesitates,” in The Loving Cup: Original Toasts by Original Folks, edited by Wilbur D. Nesbit, 1909

Here’s a turkey when you are hungry,
Champagne when you are dry,
A pretty girl when you need her,
And heaven when you die.
~Toasts and After-Dinner Speeches, arranged and edited by William Young Stafford, 1903

The miser may be pleased with gold,
The sporting beau with pretty lass;
But I’m best pleas’d when I behold
The nectar sparkling in the glass.
~A Collection of Songs (Edinburgh), 1762

…but yet they grumbled. Such is human-nature. The man who drinks beer at home always criticizes the champagne, and finds fault with the Burgundy when he is invited out to dinner. ~Mark Twain, 1868

And the small ripple spilt upon the beach
Scarcely o’erpass’d the cream of your champagne,
When o’er the brim the sparkling bumpers reach,
That spring-dew of the spirit! the heart’s rain!
Few things surpass old wine; and they may preach
Who please,—the more because they preach in vain,—
Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after.
~Lord Byron (1788–1824), Don Juan, 1819–1824

I started to open the bottle of champagne, and then it began to open itself. The man who filled it must have put in two quarts instead of one. ~Philadelphia Record, 1901  [a little altered –tg]

Well, Fizz, old chap,
Here’s a health to you;
You’re a good old chap
And a sport clear through.
You’ve made me poor,
You’ve stood me well,
You’ve brought me luck,
And—well, we won’t tell.
So through all my joys
And through all my woes,
Tip up, old friend:
To Fizz—here she goes!
~Elmina Ella Susannah Elliott Atkinson (1867–1931), Confessions of a Chorus Girl, 1903  [Published under the pseudonym Madge Merton. –tg]

Come friends, come let us drink again,
This liquid from the nectar vine,
For water makes you dumb and stupid,
Learn this from the fishes—
They cannot sing, nor laugh, nor drink
This beaker full of sparkling wine.
~Old Dutch song, as quoted in Waes Hael: A Collection of Toasts Crisp and Well Buttered, by Edithe Lea Chase and Capt. W. E. P. French, 1903

After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. ~P. J. O’Rourke, unverified

Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane. ~Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), unverified

The stomach is the chapel-master who directs the great orchestra of our passions and sets them in motion. An empty stomach is as the bassoon or the piccolo-flute — the one grumbling from sheer displeasure, the other yelling from desire for food; while the full stomach is the triangle of pleasure or the kettle-drum of joy. As for love, I consider it the prima donna, par excellence — the goddess which sings to us cavatinas — gets the ear drunk and makes the heart leap for joy. Eating, loving, singing and digesting are in truth the four acts of a comic opera called Life, which vanishes as the foam of champagne. Who lets them pass without having enjoyed them is a complete fool. ~Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868)

Alcohol Quotations: Champagne
Original post date: 2003 Jun 22
1st major revision: 2017 Jul 27
2nd major revision: 2019 Oct 22