In happy times and in sad, we will raise a glass to toast our friends and our loved ones. Usually, we toast to honor a life, a birth, a marriage, a holiday or any occasion, even the simplest of happy moments, but that was not always the case.
As far back as 600 B.C, glasses were raised when sharing wine, not necessarily to toast a friend, but to ensure that the wine was not laced with poison, the preferred method of murder in those days. The word toast actually comes from the ancient Roman practice of dropping a piece of burnt bread into a jug of wine before sharing the drink. This would help balance the flavor of a particularly bad wine by reducing the acidity. By the 1700s, those sharing a glass would often toast the rich and the famous, spawning the term, 'Toast of the Town,' and, by the 1800s, toasting was considered the right and proper thing to do when sharing wine.
Today, those who propose a toast show respect, whether for the living, the dead or God's great gifts. To be the recipient of a toast can be humbling, but it is a blessing in its purest form, when the whole room stands and raises a glass in your honor.
There is no more courteous gesture than offering a toast, but it is important to do it properly. Toasts should be simple, honest, short, and sweet. If you wish to deliver a toast, be sure to plan ahead and try to match the good feelings with wit, humor and eloquence. It's not always easy offering a toast, so we have complied some of the best around. Feel free to use them the next time you raise a glass in honor of someone else.
"May friendships, like wine, improve, as time advances. And may we always have old wine, old friends, and young cares." - Author unknown
"A man not old, but mellow, like good wine." - Stephen Phillips
"May you get all your wishes but one, so you always have something to strive for!." - Author unknown
"Here's to cold nights, warm friends, and a good drink to give them." - Author unknown
"To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with." -- Mark Twain
"Grow old with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which, the first is made." -- Robert Browning
"May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead." - Old Irish Toast
"May the best day of your past, be the worst day of your future." - Unknown Author
"May we have more and more friends, and need them less and less." - Unknown Author
"When wine enlivens the heart may friendship surround the table." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
By Damon Peter Rallis