On Toasting, Thanks, and Good Cheer
Posted on November 28, 2014
Sláinte! Salud! A la votre! Cin cin! Proost! Na zdravi!
There are a million ways to say it, but the sentiment is the same- “To your health!” A common phrase of good cheer repeated frequently this time of year. Whether uttered, whispered, shouted, slurred, or chanted, this kind gesture celebrates guests and hosts alike, making all feel the warm welcome of holiday spirits.
Toast [ tōst ] noun
noun: toast · plural noun: toasts
sliced bread browned on both sides by exposure to radiant heat.
a call to a gathering of people to raise their glasses and drink together in honor of a person or thing, or an instance of drinking in this way:
“he raised his glass in a toast to his son”
synonyms: tribute · salute · salutation · pledge
Oh THAT? That’s not interesting… but that’s where you’re wrong. Think fast- what will you do this Turkey Day when you just happen to cross a bad batch of Beaujolais? Throw it away? Complain about it but drink it anyway because you don’t want to be rude? Gag? Here’s an ancient helpful hint from The Grape Girls (and the Romans) to you:
Burn a piece of bread (aka TOAST it) and then drop it in the glass of suspect wine.
Sounds gross, right? That’s because it is and that’s why we don’t do it anymore. However, in the olden days, this was a common way to salvage a glass of shitty wine. The belief behind it being that the charcoal from the burned bread would temper the acidity, making it easier to drink through the bad and get to the buzz. Buzz, buzz, buzz. All the way home. Interested yet? How about this- Did you know that the ACTION of toasting is totally based on allaying fears? Meaning: I (host) drink with you (guest) from the same pitcher in order to prove this libation to be poison-free. Say whaaaaaaa?
Yup. In antiquity, the original “toasting” was purely a glorified safety measure designed to put visitors at ease. Why? Because poisoning was a popular form of settling disagreements at the time. Thankfully, our problem-solving skills have become more refined (and our forensics technology better), but some terms just stick.
So as you sit down at the table to enjoy some (fill in the adjective) family time, remember to be truly thankful- it could always be worse. Your grandmother could have slipped you a poisoned Mickey and there could be bread crumbs in your wine.
On that note: We, The Grape Girls, are thankful to YOU for your continued support. As we launch our site and our castle of wine and dreams, you have been here to help us along the way. From reading our blogs to asking us to write reviews to putting up with our Instagram-onslaught, we’re making new friends and learning so much on a daily basis. We are grateful to you not just on this ONE day of thanks, but on the other 364 days as well.
From the bottom of our glasses,
We HEART you.