Sayings about Wine (Spanish Post!)

Happy after a meal with my Spanish family. (That little girl named me “Marlin.” Yes, like the dad from Finding Nemo.)

There is nothing like sharing a meal with a group of Spanish people.

Happy to be eating at a Spanish wedding.

Spanish people love food. They let you know. They close their eyes in pleasure, spend the whole meal discussing the flavors, linger over meals for hours. Of course, it’s not all about the food; it’s about the company, too. But I believe that Spanish people love food more than most.

Olives at a market in Zamora.

They also love wine. (Secret: I do, too.) A while back, while using Mario’s parents’ computer I found this little document about wine. Mario’s father is quite witty, always challenging my Spanish with his sayings, plays on words, puns, and refrains. Thus, this document is typical Jesús. I thought I would share it with you all.

Mario and me having some wine (not in Spain)

Citas y refranes sobre el vino

Note: I have bolded my favorites. All translations done by me. Spaniards, if I screwed up, correct me. Si me he equivocado, por favor, ¡corregidme!

  • El buen vino resucita al peregrino. – Good wine revives the pilgrim.
  • En casa del rico, el vinagre se vuelve vino. - In the rich man’s house, the vinegar becomes wine.
  • No hay cuestión ni pesadumbre que sepa amigo, nadar; todas se ahogan en vino, todas se atascan en pan…” (Francisco de Quevedo) - There is no question nor regret that I know friend, to swim; all drown in wine, all are mired in bread.
  • Si al mundo vino y no tomó vino, ¿a qué vino? - If he came to this world and didn’t drink wine, why did he come at all?
  • El hombre que bebe agua teniendo vino en la mesa, es como el que tiene novia y la mira y no la besa. - The man who drinks water having wine on the table is like one who has a girlfriend, looks at her, but does not kiss her.
  • Si el vino perjudica tus negocios, deja tus negocios. - If wine is detrimental to your business, leave your business behind.
  • El agua hace sudar; el vino, cantar. - Water makes you sweat; wine makes you sing.
  • Uva moscatel, no llega al tonel. - The muscat grape never reaches the barrel.
  • El español fino con todo bebe vino. - The refined Spaniard drinks wine with everything.
  • Comer sin vino es miseria y desatino. - Eating without wine is misery and folly.
  • Con pan y vino se hace el camino. - The way is made with bread and wine.
  • Si el mar fuera vino, todo el mundo sería marino. - If the sea were wine, everyone would be a sailor.
  • Cuando Dios llamó a Gabino no dijo Gabino ven, dijo ¡VENGA VINO! - When God called Gabino, he didn’t tell him to come, he said, “Come! There’s wine!” (Play on words involved here – vino is wine, but also the third person past tense of the verb “venir” [“to come”].)
  • Al cuerpo hay que darle lo contrario de lo que quiere: si pide agua, darle vino, y si pide vino… darle más vino! - The body must be given the opposite of what it wants: if it asks for water, give it wine; if it asks for wine…give it more wine!
  • No es ningún desatino, postre, café, y vino. - It is not folly: dessert, coffee, and wine.
  • El buen vino no merece probarlo quien no sabe saborearlo. - Good wine does not deserve to be tasted; it deserved to be savored.
  • Quien vino bebe, despacio envejece. - Those who drink wine age slowly.
  • Bebe el agua a chorro y el vino a sorbos. - Drink water in gulps and wine in sips. (I am unsure of how to translate “chorro” in this instance.)
  • Quién no gusta del vino, tiene otros peores vicios. - The one who does not like wine has other, worse vices.
  • Da vino por vino y pan por pan, y todos te entenderán. - Give wine for wine and bread for bread and everyone will understand you.
  • Al viajero, jamón, vino y pan casero. - To the traveler give ham, wine, and homemade bread.
Who can say no to that?
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14 comments

  1. Most of these were new to me, and I have a wine-loving refrán-spouting father-in-law! But that’s the thing about Spain, isn’t it? You go one town over and there are a thousand new wise rhyming sayings.

    I love the one about not kissing the girlfriend.

    The version I’ve heard of my favorite one is slightly different from yours:
    Con pan y vino se anda el camino.”

    One more I know:
    Al catarro, dale con el jarro.” – Fight a cold with the mug [of wine].
    It’s a bit like the “feed a cold, starve a flu” and “feed a flu, starve a cold” ones that no one really knows which is which and everyone uses to justify either eating or not eating depending on what they’re suffering from.

    1. I like both versions, “se hace” and “se anda.” They’re slightly different – one seems more about just taking it as it goes and the other seems more about actively *doing*.

      I told Mario your second one and he responded that wine is healthy, you know. Ha.

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