Wine Toasting

Enjoying wine for a special occasion or at an event often results in making toasts. By understanding the history behind toasting and learning the basic etiquette involved in making a toast at different occasions, the mystery behind the act is easily cleared up. Wine toasting has a long history that makes it a traditional part of any formal event.

The History

Wine toasting in modern society occurs at a wide range of occasions. Parents and friends often toast a bride and groom at a wedding, co-workers might toast a retiring employee from a company, and family often toast the birthday boy or girl.

The history of making a toast dates back to 450 A.D., when a young woman made a toast for the king’s good health during a feast. The feast turned into a wedding because the Saxon king became smitten with the young woman after she made a toast.

The result of that first recorded toast with a goblet of wine was the traditional wedding toast. A bride and groom are often toasted during the reception and rehearsal dinner by friends, parents and other family members.

The term, toasting, also comes from historical context. Before the making of wine was refined, sediment often remained at the bottom of a wine glass. The French came up with a simple solution to prevent accidentally drinking the sediment. They placed a piece of toast or bread in the glass to soak up the small stones.

Tips for Toasting

Giving a toast at any occasion, whether it is a Thanksgiving feast or a wedding, requires a few simple rules. By following the rules, wine toasting makes a point and shares something from the heart.

Write the toast in advance of the occasion. It is usually best to work out the wording before the actual event. This not only provides practice, it ensures that the toast is appropriate for the situation.

Arrange the wording around the occasion. A toast should always be appropriate for the formality of the occasion and the audience. For example, a wedding toast should consider the possibility of children in the room and should ensure the wording is positive and appropriate for young listeners. The occasion plays a large role in the formality and wording.

Keep the wine toast simple. Wine toasting often seems to end up with big words that half of the audience does not understand when it is in a formal setting. It is important to keep it simple and use well-known words during the toast. When a simple word can replace a larger word, then it is better to use the simple version.

Avoid lengthy toasts. A toast is a short oration that will give a blessing from the heart. While specifics vary, a wine toast should usually aim for around one minute in length. Anything longer will start losing the audience.

End with a clear signal. Making a toast at any event should always end with a clear signal that it is finished. A signal can range from a simple “cheers” to a more elaborate “raise your glasses” depending on personal preferences.

Elegant Impression

Wine is often provided during formal occasions and calls for elegance during the toast. Making an elegant impression is not challenging, but it does require following two simple rules.

Never talk with hands while making a toast. Moving the hands around will cause the wine to slosh around in the glass, which distracts from the toast.

At the end of the toast, raise the glass slowly and steadily. Never use a sharp motion, or the wine might spill if the glass is full.

Wine toasting is a type of speech that requires thought, planning and careful presentation. It is a blessing to the individual, couple or group that is being celebrated. While the toast is short, it should always make a point that ends on a positive note.