Toasts & Quotes: André Tchelistcheff on Pinot Noir

“God made Cabernet.

The Devil made Pinot Noir”

~ André Tchelistcheff (1901-1994), early pioneer, innovator and evangelist for California wine, on the challenges inherent in making Pinot Noir.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to André, a tireless mentor to young talent, many of whom are now pillars of our contemporary wine industry.  Were it not for André, and a handful of others, California wines would have wallowed in the shadows of Prohibition for decades longer than they did!

Toast & Quotes: Somerset Maugham on Excess

“Excess on occasion is exhilerating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.”

~ Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965), popular English playwright, novelist and short story author.

Quote contributed by Patrick Finerty, CA

Toasts & Quotes: Terry Theise, Thoughts on Wine

“The best wines are those that take you through themselves and out into another world that you could not have gotten to on your own. Great wine has a strange subterranean current of beauty. It is not something you can summon from a wine; but a great wine can take you there.”

~ Terry Theise, wine importer

…”But to love wine, preferences have to remain fluid. You have to be able to respond spontaneously to new stimulus, to absorb new evidence. Each new wine demands open eyes to be individually seen. In Zen there’s a saying: ‘Truth means that all ravens are black, until you see a white raven.’  Wine is, in fact, a lovely means of training ourselves to examine a question from all angles and resist precepts. What we can’t do is establish a single matrix whereby wines are either acceptable or unacceptable. If we do that, we stop not only thinking; we stop experiencing. And that would most certainly defeat the purpose of wine.”

~ Terry Theise, wine importer

Toasts & Quotes: Socrates on Marriage

“By all means marry. If you get a good wife [spouse], you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher”

~ Socrates (c469 BC–399 BC), Greek Athenian Philosopher and a founder of Western Philosophy  (whose difficult marriage encouraged him to sharpen his debating skills instead of spending time at home!)  A note to those who may choose to use this quote – I recommend toasting with one of my wines, instead of the hemlock.  Otherwise, you’ll be debating Socrates by morning.