Probably the most famous, most famous and most quoted saying about wine. But the original was written in ancient Greek, because it is attributed to the Greek poet Alcaeus (*630 BC) from the Greek island of Lesbos and means "In wine lies truth". It is meant to say that under the influence of alcohol one is far more willing to tell the truth or better said, to openly give in to one's feelings than when sober. The phrase was often used in connection with "in aqua sanitas", which means "in water lies health".
The saying was used and thus known by many great minds. These included the Greek philosophers and poets Theognis (around 600 BC), Aeschylus (525-456 BC), Plato (427-347 BC) and Theocritus (300-260 BC), as well as the two Roman authors Horace (65-8 BC) and Pliny the Elder (23-79) in the most famous Latin version. A well-known, often quoted dispute in the drama "Wallenstein - Piccolomini" by Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) also describes this phenomenon: (Terzky) The wine speaks from it! Do not hear him, I beg you. (Isolani) Wine doesn't invent anything, it just babbles it out.
Viewed objectively, the thing with the truth is nonsense. No one tells the truth because he has drunk wine or enjoyed alcohol. It is much more true that the inhibition threshold decreases with increasing degree of drunkenness. So you say things that you would never say when sober. And they don't have to be true for a long time. The "truth" refers to the fact that someone says what he thinks while under the influence of alcohol. The Canadian physician William Osler (1849-1919) aptly remarked: "Alcohol does not make people do things better, they are less ashamed of doing things badly.
Under the influence of alcohol you will not become a different person. The Swiss journalist Peter Rüedi has described this brilliantly: Alcohol is the drug of individuality. It enhances it, but it does not create it anew. It makes a hollow head babble, roar, stammer, brood, sleep. A brilliant head it makes sparkle, to rave, to howl, to laugh, to silence. Alcohol only ignites what is present in a brain in combustible matter. See also under country rules, customs, toasts and quotations.