In Wine There is Truth

Red wine being poured into the glass at the table

In vino veritas (Latin)

In wine there is truth (English)

“In vino veritas” is a Latin expression that translates to “In wine there is truth,” suggesting that someone who is under the influence of alcohol is more likely to tell the truth or express hidden opinions or desires. An equivalent in English is “A drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts.”

Despite it being in Latin, It is widely used in languages such as Spanish and Italian. It is easy to think of Latin as a dead language, but Romance languages (those that developed from Latin) are still heavily influenced by it, to the point that Romance language speakers still use Latin idioms in everyday conversation. These idioms include “Mens sana in corpore sano” (Healthy mind in a healthy body) and “Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta” (He who excuses himself, accuses himself), amongst others.

The earliest allusion to the phrase was made by Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia, and it is mentioned in many subsequent classical texts. Some authors, such as Herodotus, allude to the phrase in describing the Persian people, who had custom that “any ruling made while sober must be reconsidered while drunk, and any ruling made while drunk should be reconsidered while sober.”