Ben Franklin, Wine Aficionado

Ben Franklin, like many of his revolutionary era counterparts, was no stranger to the pleasures of imbibing alcoholic beverages. How many times have you heard the phrase, Beer is proof that God loves us? Well, not so fast! It is a misquote that seems to have developed a life of its own. In fact, our Renaissance-man-of-a-founding-father actually paid homage to wine, not beer, in a letter to a French economist and writer:

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards,
there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine,
a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s set the record straight on one more Early American fact. Thomas Jefferson was our most famous founding foodie who enjoyed learning about wine and amassed a large collection in his day. That is certainly true, but it was actually Mr. Franklin who was responsible for much of Jefferson’s knowledge about French wine. Franklin served in France prior to Jefferson’s tenure there, and was an avid collector himself with a collection of some 1,000 bottles. Jefferson did credit Franklin with teaching him and there is no doubt that the two drank many fine glasses together!