In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that translates “in wine [there is the] truth". The expression, together with its counterpart in Greek, “Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” (En oinōi alētheia), is found in Erasmus' Adagia, I.vii.17.Pliny the Elder's Naturalis historia contains an early allusion to the phrase. The Greek expression is traced back to a poem by Alcaeus.
Herodotus asserts, and it is likely enough, that if the Persians took a decision while drunk, they made a rule to reconsider it when sober. Few authors between Herodotus and Lévi-Strauss would have dared to add, as Herodotus does, that if the Persians took a decision while sober, they made a rule to reconsider it when they were drunk (Histories, book 1, section 133).
In Russian, «Что у трезвого на уме, то у пьяного на языке» ("What a sober man has in his mind, the drunk one has on his tongue").
The BabylonianTalmud (תלמוד בבלי) contains the passage: "נכנס יין יצא סוד", i.e., "Wine enters, secrets exit." It continues, "בשלשה דברים אדם ניכר בכוסו ובכיסו ובכעסו", i.e., "In three things is a man revealed: in his wine goblet, in his purse, and in his wrath." (In the original Hebrew, the words for "his goblet" (coso), "his purse" (ciso - lit. his pocket), and "his wrath" (co'aso) rhyme, and there is a further play on words, as they all use the root "כס".)
In Persian, مستی و راستی ("With drunkenness comes the truth").
^See W. Barker, The Adages of Erasmus (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001), pp. 100-103. Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια: Diogenianus, Cent. 4.81. See Andreas Schottus, Paroimiai hellēnikai (Antwerp: Plantin, 1612), p. 215.
^Nat. hist. 14, 141: "...volgoque veritas iam attributa vino est."
^Alc. fr. 366 Voigt: "οἶνος, ὦ φίλε παῖ, καὶ ἀλάθεα" (oinos, ō phile pai, kai alāthea), "Wine, dear boy, and truth...". Nothing is known about the poem except for these words, which are quoted by a later scholiast. See G. Tsomis, Zusammenschau der Frühgriechischen Monodischen Melik: Alkaios, Sappho, Anakreon (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1999), pp. 160-161.
^Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Vol. 2, Food Production to Nuts, Solomon H. Katz (Editor in Chief), 2003, Charles Scribner’s Sons, p. 198. ISBN 0-684-80566-9 (v. 2).
^Warren, Thomas, ed. A collection of catches, canons & glees. Wilmington, Delaware: Mellifont Press, 1970. ISBN #0842000267. Reprint of a collection, originally in thirty-two volumes, of glees published by various publishers in London, from 1762 to 1793. Thomas Warren (ca. 1730–1974) was the original editor of the collection. The reprint is not complete. For more information, see the University of Michigan library's holding here.