Ask Florence: 100-year-old wine drinker reacts to new-found fame

Ask Florence

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – If you are like many of us here at NEWS CENTER, you probably fell in love with Florence Bearse—the witty 100-year-old woman who declared that drinking wine was the secret to longevity.

"Oh I like my wine," she said at her celebration last week. "Don't take it away from me!"

Florence’s story captured the hearts of thousands all over the country and the world, with dozens of major media outlets like Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan and even the Daily Mirror in the United Kingdom picking up the story.

“No kidding?!” Bearse said when we shared the news with her. “I never showed off. I never pretended I was somebody. I’m not.”

NEWS CENTER’s Zach Blanchard caught up with Florence again at the Westgate Center assisted living facility for an afternoon chat with her glass of wine in hand. Here's some of their conversation, including some questions you might have had:


Q: “What’s your favorite kind of wine?”

A: “Well I’m not fussy. I’m not fussy as long as it’s wine, it’s wine.”


Q: “What kind of wine are you drinking?”

A: “Blackberry”



Q: “What else is your secret to staying so young?”

A: “Well that’s a good question. I mean take care of yourself, don’t get fat…I like walking outdoors. I’d like to have a nickel for every mile I’ve walked.”

Q: “What else did you like to do in life (besides drink wine)?”

A: “I was a ballroom dancer! Oh that’s what I like.”

Q: “You couldn’t ballroom dance anymore?”

A: “If there was ballroom dancing I would be there—if there were men!”

Q: “What are your beauty secrets?”

A: “Soap and water…and a little bit of lipstick.”


Q: “Do you drink coffee? Is that how you have so much energy?”

A: “I like my coffee, yes. I have a couple of cups in the morning and then I save one for mid-morning.”

Q: “Coffee or wine?”

A: “Both! I love my wine, but I don’t abuse it.”


Q: “Do you think this generation different than yours?”


A: “No I really don’t, and I hope they don’t change. Your generation is pretty good, if the parents are tough with their kids.”

Q: “Would you say you worked hard?”

A: “Whatever I have, I worked for and I don’t have anything.”

Q: “You have your wine?!”

A: “Oh I have my wine! They know!”


Q: What advice would you give people to live life to the fullest?”

A: “Well don’t take any baloney. Don’t be afraid to tell them to get lost if they get too fresh.”


“I’m sooo popular,” she joked as we wrapped up our interview.

As for the future, Florence said she plans to make it to at least 105, but does not have any big plans. She said she will just take it day by day—with her wine of course!

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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