FunIn vino veritas, meaning and story
In vino veritas meaning

In vino veritas, meaning and story

What does in vino veritas mean and what’s the story of this popular latin motto?

We’ve all woken up in the morning and thought to ourselves did I really say that last night?  Sometimes this can have enormous consequences and we are probably all guilty of in vino veritas at some point in our lives.  I myself, woke up engaged one morning after attending a very good party!

There’s an ancient association of truth and wine that looms over the notion of truth in wine drinking: The Latin motto in vino veritas, which, when translated literally, is rendered in English as (there is) truth in wine. Also written as in uino ueritas, it’s a Latin phrase that means In wine, there is truth, suggesting a person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires.

In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas

The phrase is credited to Pliny the Elder: (AD 23 – 79), Roman scientist, historian and soldier.  However, there was a similar saying in classical Greece (oinos kai aletheia) that can be traced back to a poem by Alcaeus in the 6th Century BC.  Herodotus asserts that if the Persians decided something while drunk, they made a rule to reconsider it when sober. Authors after Herodotus have added that if the Persians made a decision while sober, they also made a rule to reconsider it when they were drunk!

There is of course science behind the saying.  Alcohol takes its toll on the brain and interferes with the communication pathways and how information is processed.  During the initial stages of consumption alcohol releases dopamine which creates a pleasurable sensation. During the euphoria, you feel relaxed with a minor impairment of reasoning and memory. This is when we enter in vino veritas territory. 

Tattoos, songs and more

In vino veritas is a Latin phrase and as such has become a trendy saying all over the world. There are countless bars, restaurants and wines all bearing this name.  As its trendy, it’s also a common tattoo to have inked on your body.  If you’re not so confident you can even get a temporary tattoo from Amazon.

Port O’Brien, a well-known folk indie band from the US have a song called in vino veritas which was released in 2008 and is well worth checking out:

There is also a British film of the same name which was released in 2013 which has reasonable reviews although I haven’t seen it myself.  Secrets and inhibitions fall by the wayside when two couples become drunk on a Peruvian elixir made with the toxic skin of blue-dart tree frogs. Not quite the same as a bottle of Pinot Noir and a little more difficult to purchase. Even Amazon may struggle with that one.  

It is very common in Japan within Business.  You are likely to be wined and dined by senior managers of a company and after a few glasses of sake you will be asked for your thoughts on certain aspects of life/business.  I fell into this trap on one of my many visits to Japan and despite the warning beforehand, I succumbed to the power of the sake. 

Well now you know something about in vino veritas, just make sure you use the saying and its consequences wisely.

Passionate about music, craft beer and wine but loves travel and food too especially Staffordshire oatcakes!