Red wine

100-Year-Old Barmaid Says the Secret to Long Life is Abstaining from Fruit and Dairy, Not Alcohol

Marie-Lou Wirth never drinks milk or eats fruit, but she’s been serving alcohol for 103 years
Red wine

France's oldest barmaid says the secret to longevity is avoiding fruit and dairy.

Nobody in the world has as much bartending experience as France’s oldest barmaid, Marie-Lou Wirth, and few people have as much life experience. Wirth is 100 years old, and she has been tending bar since she was 14. She can certainly sell a drink, but she says she is not a big drinker herself.

“If I had been a big drinker, I wouldn’t be here now,” Wirth said, according to the New York Post. “But it’s what I sell!”

Wirth has been tending bar for 103 years. She first started working as a barmaid in her hometown of Calais, France, in 1932 when her parents bought a bar and immediately put their 14-year-old daughter to work serving customers. Wirth says at the time putting teenagers to work was pretty normal, even if the family business was wine and spirit sales.

“In my day, when you were young you worked,” Wirth laughed. “Nowadays you have to drag them to work!”


Wirth says the secret to her long life is that she never eats fruit or dairy products. She does not abstain from alcohol, though. She says she drinks water with her food, but she enjoys a glass “of something else” in moderation. If there’s anything worth raising a glass to, it’s turning 100 years old, so here are 20 sparkling wines worth celebrating with.