Clarification of Answer by
20 Nov 2004 13:43 PST
Well I'll be....!
I checked a few more sources, and actually came up with a reference
that goes back to 1986:
Notable potable quotables
22 January 1986
RECENTLY I chatted with Brooks Firestone, and he told me about a
little booklet he had prepared as a presentation at the California
Wine Festival in Monterey...Firestone had garnered many quotations
about wine from historical figures and had hired a couple of actors to
act out the vignettes. It was, a friend told me, a smash at Monterey.
Well, I recently obtained the booklet, and thought you might like to
read what some famous people had to say about wine and their world. .
Plato: ``No thing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever
granted mankind by God.''
So apparently, it was this Brooks Firestone fellow who popularized the
phrase, although that still leaves open the question of where **HE**
came up with it.
I've been through every single reference that Plato makes to "wine"
and have not seen anything even remotely similar to the phrase in
question. I don't believe that Plato actually is the source, though
that still leaves open the question of just who came up with it.
Wish I could provide more definitive info, but despite a lot of
looking, I've come up with a dead end in terms of any more leads.
If you can think of a particular avenue of searching you'd like me to
pursue, please let me know and I'll get right on it.
And (this is important!), if this answer is unsatisfactory for your
needs, let me know that as well, and I'll ask the editors to remove it
so that another researcher can take a crack at it.