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I Do Not Drink Wine

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"There are two refreshments in your world the colour of red wine. This... is not red wine."
Madame Vastra, Doctor Who, "The Snowmen"

A seeming-human character who is extraterrestrial, supernatural or otherworldly (or just has very strange eating habits) may not eat the same things as ordinary humans. Aside from their Fantastic Diet Requirement, they may be unable to eat or be repulsed by human foods. In other cases, they can and will eat human food, but the fact that they don't need to (or may need to chow down on something else as well) proves to be important.

May act as a Red Right Hand that reveals that the character isn't what they seem.

Named from the classic (and often imitated) line in Dracula (1931): "I never drink... wine."

The opposite of No Biochemical Barriers. See also Eating Optional. Not to be confused with The Teetotaler. Contrast Fantastic Diet Requirement.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Neither Kero nor Yue, being magical guardians, actually need to eat at all. Kero mooches food off of Sakura during the course of the entire anime and manga series solely for his own amusement.
    • Inverted, of course, with Yukito, Yue's Sleep-Mode Size, who uses caloric energy to supplement any insufficient magic energy source.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo and Namekians in general only consume water because they're photosynthetic. That's right, Piccolo is a plant. Although before that revelation, Piccolo has been shown eating other things, mainly fish. The general consensus is that they only need water and sunlight, but are capable of eating. It may have to do with Kami (and therefore Piccolo) being from before the disaster that wiped out all Namekians except Guru, whose children may have been altered — much as King Piccolo's demon sons did not look like regular Namekians. Another factor could be that Namek has three suns, while Earth only has one.
  • Inverted in Ergo Proxy with a mysterious man living all alone in a castle who drinks nothing but wine, to excess beyond belief; it makes him just as creepy as someone who doesn't eat or drink.
  • Al from Fullmetal Alchemist is a disembodied soul bound to a suit of armor, meaning he can't eat or drink anything. To people who don't know that there's nobody inside the armor, this can be a tip-off that Al's not what he seems (as if the freaking armor itself isn't enough of a tip-off).
  • Hellsing:
    • An odd example comes from Seras tries to remain human by refusing to drink blood and trying to eat human food. The problem comes from the fact that, being dead, she can not only not process human food, but trying to eat it is outright painful; she can't even swallow it without immense effort.
    • Alucard, on the other hand, is seen enjoying a bottle of wine more than once. On an airplane. In broad daylight. Over the Pacific Ocean. He's just so powerful that the weaknesses suffered by other vampires tend not to apply.
  • In Inuyasha, Sesshomaru references this to Rin after she brings him a meal to thank him for saving her life after they met. He literally tells her that he doesn't eat human food and simply wonders why she just keeps smiling at him.
  • The metabolism of the Seven Lucky Gods (and their people) in Ranma ½: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China can only handle rice and pickled vegetables. When trying an alternative meal, Kirin actually collapsed in agony and cried out for "P-P-P-PICKLEEEES!" Then again, said alternative meal was prepared by Akane, so...
  • Sailor Moon's Ail and An, Sibling alien lover... thingies. Really only brought forth in the two episodes where they're directly confronted with Earth food, and none of the cast members catch on to it (even when An flat out says that she doesn't eat food, though she catches herself).
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Ghouls are not only unable to digest any human foods save for coffee, but find the taste so repulsive that it tends to make them throw up in response. Those choosing to pass as humans practice tricks to swallow enough to look like they're actually having a meal, but this requires that they throw it up shortly afterwards to avoid getting sick. When Ken Kaneki becomes a Half-Human Hybrid, his inability to eat human food is his first sign that something went horribly wrong during his surgery.
  • In Urusei Yatsura, the Oni can eat most human foods and even produce equivalents of their native dishes by inhuman amounts of spice, but some earth cuisine is beyond their capacity to handle. Umeboshi, which are basically pickled sour plums, get them totally plastered (humans, meanwhile, traditionally use them as a hangover and overindulgence remedy), though sake can cure them from being drunk, and they find the scent of garlic so strong and nauseatingly overpowering it has the same effect on them as tear gas.
  • Wish: Kohaku, being an angel, is nauseated by any food that's ever been alive, including plants (though she can eat honey); she gets her nutrition by bathing in sunlight.
  • In Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Alpha, a Ridiculously Human Robot, is absolutely fine with any plant-based food (which she does indeed eat, despite being a robot), and actually can drink wine, but is lactose intolerant. It is heavily implied that any animal protein gives her (and, probably, other robots) severe indigestion.

    Comic Books 
  • The Vision averts this trope despite being a synthezoid (android with a human mind and soul inside). He once explained that he has learned to simulate eating and drinking so that he could better blend in with humanity.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Henry Sellick's Coraline, the Other Mother cooks fantastically delicious meals, but we never see a speck of it on her plate. We find out later that she eats...other things...

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Universal's Dracula (1931) of course, as the Trope Namer. The exact line is "I never drink— wine." He breaks his word about wine in House of Frankenstein, however.
  • Love at First Bite includes this line, which adds "...and I do not smoke shit."
  • Subverted in Dracula: Dead and Loving It. "I never drink... wine... oh, what the hell. Let me try it." (As it turns out, he's asleep and having a "day-mare.")
  • In Ed Wood, Criswell gets Bela Lugosi to say it during dinner by asking him if he'll have a glass of wine.
  • Count Yorga: After the seance at the start of the film, Erica notes Yorga hasn't eaten or drank anything since he came to Donna's home. He claims to just have a troubled stomach but cites he'll get a "snack" later, eyeing Erica ominously as she goes to get some brandy for the other guests. He makes good on that claim by taking some of Erica's blood later.
  • Angels in Dogma are unable to drink alcohol, after a pair of them got drunk and flipped off God. The Metatronnote  is seen getting around this rule by taking sips of alcohol and spitting it back into another glass. It's not drinking if he doesn't swallow.
  • In Under the Skin, the alien (Scarlett Johansson) tried to eat chocolate cake but spits it out immediately. But according to the book, the alien's preferred diet is human.
  • Played with in the Underworld (2003) movies — after Michael is turned, he tries to satisfy his craving for blood by eating a rare steak. He has no problem getting it down, but it doesn't quench his hunger at all.

  • In Anathem, there's a character who doesn't eat ordinary food; this is eventually revealed to be a sign that he's from a universe where the laws of physics are different (ours, to be precise).
  • Averted by Eric and the other Chee androids in Animorphs. While they don't need to eat, part of maintaining The Masquerade is looking as human as possible, which includes eating and drinking whatever the culture they're currently immersed in eats and drinks; ingested food is simply vaporized inside their body.
  • Anita Blake actually invoked this. When a waiter asks Jean-Claude what he's having, he responds with this line, prompting a Spit Take from Anita.
  • Played to the letter in the Artemis Fowl series. Should a fairy drink spirits, basically any form of alcohol, with humans, they lose a lot of their magic and are basically exiled.
  • In Bloodsucking Fiends, Jody takes a tentative sip of water as she tries to come to terms with being a vampire. She has to spit it back up immediately, as she literally can't swallow it. Subverted later in the series, as it turns out vampires can eat and drink normal stuff, but only if the stuff contains/is soaked in blood.
  • Bunnicula: Chester's story in Nighty-Nightmare has Dr. Emil Alphonse Diabolicus, a vampire, declare that "I don't drink... milk." Subverted with Bud, a normal human who also says that "I don't drink milk." In his case though, it's just a matter of personal preference.
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Chronicles of Saint-Germain series of historical fantasy is otherwise excellent, with the painful exception of the vampire protagonist's stubborn insistence on repeating the title of this trope at least once in every book of the series.
  • Amren in A Court of Thorns and Roses. It's never specified exactly what she is, aside from a member of The Fair Folk (like most of the main cast), or why she seems to have such a thing for hearts.
  • Discworld:
    • Variations on the line used many times throughout the novels but especially in Carpe Jugulum, where the vampires are encouraged to try wine by their forward-thinking father. Igor also says the line, though it turns out that it's just wine he doesn't drink. Scumble on the other hand...
    • Also in Thud!, where Angua, a werewolf, needles Sally, a vampire, with a variation on this line while they're both drunk.
      Sally: Oh, ha ha. I'm perfectly fine with, sarcastic pause, "vine", thank you. What I shouldn't have drunk is sticky drinks with funny names made up by someone with no sense of humour.
    • In Unseen Academicals, one of the more Genre Savvy characters asks for clarification as to whether Vetinari "does not drink wine" or "does not drink ... wine." Later we are treated to Vetinari offering his vampiric lady friend some The ellipsis is his.
    • In Monstrous Regiment, while pointedly objecting to the horrible beer that a bartender has sold his friends, the vampire Maladict says, "I, of course, don't drink... horse piss, but I have a highly developed sense of smell..."
    • Also in Carpe Jugulum is a group of anti-Emo Teen vampires who invert the trope, and do drink... vine, all the time. Really. Well, a glass of port every so often. Once. A couple of sips of shandy, and most of us threw up, but Donald wears a corkscrew around his neck, and he sometimes has a real cork on it! Fine, so it's not inverted! You Never Respect Me, Vampire Dad!
  • In Death Masks, Harry has a somewhat friendly beer with a Red Court vampire before their duel. Like most people, the vampire is pleasantly surprised by Mac's beer, and when Harry expresses surprise that he drinks anything besides blood, the vampire turns it around on him.
    Ortega: All you need is the water, after all. Why drink beer?
    Harry: You ever taste the water in this town?
  • While the famous line doesn't appear in the book Dracula, Jonathan Harker does notice that he never sees the Count drink or eat The line that does appear in the book is "I have dined already, and do not sup", meaning that he has already eaten an early evening meal, and does not eat late. However, Dracula does apparently keep a good wine cellar for guests, as Harker comments very favorably on the "... excellent bottle of Old Tokay" he is served with his first supper at Castle Dracula.
  • Silas from The Graveyard Book "consumed only one food, and it was not bananas."
  • A variant on Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse. Having uplifted the Technically Living Zombies that are all that's left of humanity, the alien Krakau have to figure out what to feed them. They are revolted by all human foods except raw fish. Ultimately the Krakau decide to not even bother with reviving human cuisine — besides, it's possible for a human who eats too much too fast to revert to being a mindless feral — and instead install ports into their cured humans' stomachs and give them nutritious gray sludge.
  • In Shai Agnon's fantastical short story The Lady and the Peddler, a Jewish peddler is seduced by a beautiful widow living alone in a mansion in the woods. She feeds him endlessly with delicious multi-course meals, but he never once sees her eat or drink. It is eventually revealed that the widow is a cannibal and has killed and eaten all of her previous husbands. In fact, her body has grown so accustomed to eating human flesh it can no longer digest regular food.
  • Eli from Let the Right One In declines when Oskar offers her/him some candy, and when Oskar asks, "Don't you eat candy?" answers, "I can't." (Book version only; in the movie version, Eli eats the candy to please Oskar, and then becomes violently ill.)
  • In The Mortal Word from The Invisible Library books, Irene holds up a bottle of brandy to the Blood Countess, asking if she can offer her a drink. "I never drink... brandy," she replies, then complains "Dear me, how hard it is to avoid cliché!" She continues that she's certainly not going to accept any food or gifts that Irene offers her, this being because it would put her in her debt, something which Fae take very seriously.
  • In Neverwhere, the sort-of-vampire Lamia, when offered food: "I do not eat... curry."
  • Nightfall (Series): Averted. Vampires are not only able to drink wine but do so a lot. Especially the Wicked Cultured Magnificent Bastard Prince Vladimir is always seen with A Glass of Chianti in his hand.
  • In the Northwest Smith story "Shambleau", when Smith offers the eponymous Decoy Damsel food, she tells him something to the effect of, "I don't eat your food" and then makes a slightly sinister comment about how she will feed soon on something even better than the food Smith is offering her. Smith is Genre Savvy enough to ask if she eats blood and she replies that she's not a vampire. However, it turns out that a Shambleau is a vampire. Just a vampire that feeds on lifeforce rather than blood.
  • In The Prophecy of the Stones Elphorys munches his "sticky purple mass" while Elyador eats his rather mundane bread and turkey.
  • In Stardust, Yvaine doesn't drink or eat anything. She just absorbs light and darkness from her surroundings.
  • Mackenzie in Tales of MU points out repeatedly that she doesn't need to eat food, and at first is so out of the habit that it makes her ill. Several of the other characters don't need to eat food, though some do anyway (though a few, such as Puddy, stick to only their favorites).
  • The vampires from The Twilight Saga. They can eat food, but they can't digest it and have to vomit it back up later.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • The Minbari literally cannot drink wine. Even a small amount of alcohol sends them into a homicidal rage. Other than that, food from most worlds is edible by most species. Minbari having an adverse reaction to alcohol is also mentioned by Marcus when he first meets Delenn and Lennier in a Down Below bar as a means of proving who he was. It is also brought up in a single line said by Lennier in response to a drink offered by Londo, who is not entirely trustworthy when it comes to drinks. In fact, in other scenes, during Sheridan and Delenn's dinner dates, you see them both drinking wine. Slightly Hand Waved in that Delenn is half human through Applied Phlebotinum at this point.
    • The Pak'Ma'Ra fit this trope perfectly, as they projectile vomit anything synthetic, or fish. The doctor learned this the hard way. Note that projectile vomiting is even more obnoxious than usual in the case of the carrion-eating Pak'ma'ra.
    • Humans who eat mixed alien and human food can get sick. It only came up once, but given the extreme biological differences between the various races (at least one species is known to breathe methane) that might not be too unusual.
    • Inverted with some of the Centauri; Londo Mollari says he never drinks water, preferring alcohol at all times. Evidently, Centauri physiology lets them get all the water they need from alcoholic drinks while being able to process them and sober up with impressive speed. Another quirk of the Centauri is that they can't eat processed fast foods. As Londo's aide Vir puts it: "It tastes so good going down; coming back up, it's not so good..."
  • Buffyverse: Vampires only need to drink blood, but some enjoy eating human food and drinking alcohol. Angel clarifies in one episode that he'll gain no sustenance from human food.
  • Doctor Who
    • "The Evil of the Daleks": The Doctor questions Arthur Terrall about the fact that he's never seen eating or drinking, at least around others. It has something to do with the fact that he's mind-controlled. It's never made clear exactly what his lack of public eating signifies; it probably just shows how unsocial the mind-control is making him, and adds to his air of creepiness and wrongness.
    • "The Snowmen": Madame Vastra, a Silurian, meets Clara in her greenhouse, where she's drinking from a glass of red liquid, which she clarifies is not red wine. Since Vastra was introduced having just killed and eaten Jack the Ripper, and is mentioned in "Deep Breath" to be "having the Camberwell Child Poisoner for dinner" with a warning to stay out of the larder, it's pretty obvious what she's actually imbibing.
  • Lois & Clark: Superman once tells Lois that he doesn't need to eat, but he likes to. Which is fairly evident since his pantry is stocked with almost nothing but junk food.
  • When Peter Tork auditioned for The Monkees, the producers offered him a cigarette; Tork's reply was, "I don't smoke... those." Guess what he did smoke.
  • Sanctuary's version of Nikola Tesla, being a vampire, is implied to be able to survive perfectly well on a synthetic blood substitute that Magnus developed to avoid his need for blood. However, his is also a first-class wine snob and since he can't get drunk he usually makes serious inroads on Magnus's wine cellar whenever he visits for any length of time.
  • In Sapphire and Steel, when offered a cocktail at a fancy dinner party in Assignment 5, Steel says he doesn't drink. Sapphire, however, has a glass of champagne.
  • Stargate:
    • The Wraith of Stargate Atlantis can consume human food and drink, but they gain no sustenance from it. They do occasionally eat food for the pleasure of it, though. After all, just because it doesn't feed you doesn't mean it tastes bad. Todd the Wraith from Atlantis positively loves dropping lines Lampshading this on humans he meets.
      John Sheppard: Fruit bowl. Nice touch.
      Todd the Wraith: I thought it would make our discussions a bit more... comfortable. I hope they prove as delicious as the farmers who grew them.
    • In Stargate SG-1, Teal'c doesn't drink alcoholic beverages. It's unclear if it's a Teal'c thing or a Jaffa thing. He also shows an aversion to drinking milk in one episode, refusing a warm glass with the line "I prefer not to ingest bovine lactose at any temperature."
  • Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine doesn't drink. Being a changeling, he has no taste buds, so it's not worth it to try eating or drinking. In social situations, he morphs part of his substance into a glass and fluid, which he then "drinks"; it helps him to fit in. As such, this is a literal statement applying to liquids in general, not just alcoholic ones:
    Quark: What'll you have?
    Odo: I don't drink.
    Quark: A soft drink, then?
    Odo: (more firmly) I don't drink.
    • He mentions that he did try eating and drinking once. The end results were. . . not pleasant.
  • Torchwood has Owen come back from the dead, but with absolutely no vital function; as a result, he can't digest food or drink. His attempt at drinking later results in him standing on his head to force it out the hard way.
  • The vampires in What We Do in the Shadows (2019); not only can they not eat regular human food, they violently projectile vomit every time they try.
    • A reformed vampire demonstrates the ability to eat human food to Nandor as evidence that he should join her cult. She's learned to hold the food down for about 10 seconds, just long enough for her to leave the room and vomit into a garbage can.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem:
    • Both make it clear that the only thing vampires can digest properly is blood. Masquerade goes for a more instantaneous rejection; the vampire gags as the food turns to ash in his gullet and must cough it back up violently (unless they've taken the "Eat Food" merit). Requiem actually allows vampires to partake of mortal food and drink, taste it, and store it... but not for long, as by the end of the night, they'll have to vomit it up in a bloody mess.
    • The Macellarius clan in the latter game are descended from a vampiric glutton, who forced himself to devour food and drink well beyond what his body could stand (no longer being able to eat or drink infuriated him). Eventually it warped his blood enough that he and his children gained the ability to eat... human flesh. Their unique Discipline, Gustus, allows them to devour raw flesh and gain Vitae from it.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Eldrad Ulthran, famous Farseer of the Eldar craftworld of Ulthwe, appears to invoke this trope. When meeting with the primarch Fulgrim, he hosts a banquet and Fulgrim notes that Eldrad does not have any meat on his plate. When Fulgrim asks, "Does your kind not eat meat?", Eldrad replies simply "*I* do not eat meat."

    Video Games 
  • The same line spoken by Dracula is also used in BloodRayne 2.
  • Choice of the Vampire: If the vampire Player Character tries to eat human food to preserve the Masquerade, they either vomit it up immediately and messily or, if they're exceptionally tough, keep it down just long enough to vomit in private.
  • Given a nod in Conker's Bad Fur Day with Conker's vampire great-great-great grandfather.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, vampires do not eat or drink like normal dwarves. This can be extremely helpful in identifying them, since they still suffer from alcohol withdrawal.
    [Urist McVampire] needs alcohol to get through the working day, and can't even remember the last time he had some.
  • If you talk to a peaceful vampire in NetHack, the message you get is "I only drink... potions."
  • In Saya no Uta, Saya refuses to eat in front of Fuminori. It's because she's eating human flesh, and serving it to him, too.
  • Inverted in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: The Datalinks inform us that humans do not eat... food from Planet's native life (without heavy processing). However, since Earth plants grow just fine in Planet — even better than in Earth — getting food is no problem.
  • In The Sims 4: Vampires, as a vampire gets more powers, you are forced to pick drawbacks. One drawback you can pick is the inability to eat regular food; if a vampire with this drawback consumes anything other than blood, they will vomit.
  • Played straight in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. In the Asylum club, the bartender will ask the player character what they want to drink, to which they respond "I don't drink... alcohol." It also carries over for other vampires, in keeping with standard Kindred physiology; in hunting a missing vampire, the player character will hear a waitress describe how the vampire came into the diner, asked for a glass of water, and just stared at it for hours.
  • An inversion in A Vampyre Story: Mona, our heroine, is a vampire. This is established fact. But Mona is in hardcore denial that this is the case, and claims that she's under a curse. A curse that gives all the symptoms of being a vampire, without being a vampire. To maintain her delusion, she claims that what she drinks is wine (it helps that her captor gets the stuff himself, so she never actually sees where it comes from). By the time the game begins, this is already a very old argument between Mona and her buddy Froderick the bat, who sarcastically refers to it as a salty-tasting Merlot with a slight iron aftertaste. She actually delivers variations on the line when presented with other beverages.
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad reveals that Sectoids are deathly allergic to several types of food. Verge gets around this by establishing a Psychic Link with a friend to taste vicariously the food he's allergic to; if you let him do it, he'll even split the bill.

  • In A-gnosis' comics on Greek myth, when the goddess Demeter is disguised as a human, she declines an offer of wine and asks for kykeon instead — a barley drink that has ritual significance in her cult, whereas wine is for mortals.
  • Rose from Clan of the Cats comments in her first appearance, "I never"
  • Daniel is a vampire that can only drink blood. He states that anything else he tries to consume simply comes back up his throat.
  • Addison Constance Loveworth from IronGate can't consume except blood, and she only drinks fresh bovine blood in a teacup taken from cows kept in stables on the property.
  • Malack from The Order of the Stick does not turn up for meals with the rest of the group. When questioned about this, Tarquin replies that Malack has "a condition" which requires a very specific diet, so he eats his meals alone. When they stop using euphemisms in regular dialogue, it tips them off that the readers have found out, and possibly the heroes as well.
  • Walking in the Dark Ben tries to get out of eating his neighbor's curry and dumps out a gin-and-tonic into a plant in disgust. Unfortunately, the mobster they're meeting with in the later example notices he replaced it with something of a different color.

    Web Original 
  • Gaia Online:
    • Minigame Frontier Skies has a possible event in which Louie Von Helson gets a craving for cheeseburgers and depletes your food supply. Otherwise, he doesn't show any signs of understanding human cuisine. Or anything else about humans, really.
    • Louie and his sisters competed in the Pie Hard pie-eating contest (the Twins lost early; Louie made it to the top six), and explained the situation with Gaian vampires and food: they can eat human-style fare, but it's just not as tasty to them. This also justifies an unused storyline that had Louie shilling a soy-based blood substitute.
  • In Shadowrun Storytime, Geppetto is turned into a banshee to save his life. As an undead, he can only consume human flesh, blood, and souls. To maintain the illusion of still being alive, he can still choke down normal food at meetings and similar events but has to resist his gag reflex.

    Western Animation 
  • While the gems in Steven Universe technically can use shapeshifting to allow themselves to eat and digest food, Pearl in particular finds the experience disgusting. (Amethyst, on the other hand, likes eating absolutely anything.)