Jefferson, Thomas
No wine glossary is complete without paying respects to the contributions of Thomas Jefferson. Third president of the U.S., he was a wine lover extraordinaire. Grape grower and winemaker, he went to his grave puzzled that the European grape cuttings he planted did not thrive in the U.S. as they did in Europe. He tried for more than 30 years and finally settled on certain native grape varieties which could stand the harsh new world climate. Jefferson never knew that a microscopic, native American pest now known as the Phylloxera root aphid was killing his European vines. Jefferson believed that table wine is a temperate beverage as opposed to ardent spirits, which he avoided. His was a strong voice favoring low taxes on table wines and high taxes on intoxicating liquor. He is best known to winemakers for his quote "No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage." (Wine/People and Places)