The toast is the convivial ritual par excellence: it corresponds to the moment before the sip, in which the desire to savor what is in the glass and the beautiful thoughts that you wish for yourself and those around you combine. But how to make a perfect toast?
We like to think that the toast was born together with the wine, as an expression of an experience, that of tasting, which is too strong, to the point of requiring it to be celebrated with a real ritual. Universal and exclusive together.
Let's retrace together the birth of one of the most beautiful rites in human history.
Why did the man start toasting?
The toast is an ancient and auspicious ritual. Certainly practiced by the ancient Greeks, who raised the cup while decanting poetic verses to wish their friends well . The same goes for the Romans, when they also introduced the practice of touching the glasses together with so much energy that the drink splashed into the different glasses, to make sure they had not been poisoned . In fact, touching your own glass with someone else's glass is starting to be a sign of mutual trust. And little by little the custom of loudly banging glasses together to chase away evil creatures is also making its way...
The ritual of the toast, then, has not only always existed - and just think of the ancient symposiums. But it is always characterized as a social ritual: real group drinks, socializing events outside of everyday life. The intake of the intoxicating substance, a gift of the gods, has taken place in a collective and ritualized context since ancient times.
What's the point of toasting today?
For at least three reasons. Even if in a different way, coming into contact with others is a need of every human being: by raising our glasses and clinking them together, we create exclusive relationships, even if for a few moments. After all, a glass of wine sipped together with other people has the power to dilate time: it allows the - sacred - time of being together to burst into the individuality of the individual.
To toast is to give life to an ancestral ritual of hospitality : the toast establishes, in fact, the sharing of wine, to which are added mutual wishes of good health.
And then, if you are faced with a complex drink like wine, the toast establishes and gives importance to the moment that precedes a unique sensorial experience, which involves all the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch... and in case of sparkling wines also with hearing.
The languages of toasting
The toast is an almost universal gesture. As for language, our “ cheers! ” we took it from the English, who in turn stole it from the Chinese (the world is small when it comes to sharing happiness!).
Cheers, Santè, Prosit, Salud, Saude, Kanpai ... there are many toast formulas. From the typically Japanese generosity, to the fast-paced Georgian rhythm, to Spanish nursery rhymes... everywhere in the world, making a toast according to local traditions is an experience worth living.
What are the rules of the perfect toast to keep in mind when toasting in Italy?
Since it is a well-wishing action, there are small rituals to be respected, otherwise the benefits of the toast will be invalidated.
1. Even if you are tempted to go straight to the tasting, don't forget to toast! If the situation is very formal, it will be done in a contained way.
2. Don't toast with water or an empty glass! It seems to bring bad luck.
3. If you are the person proposing the toast to the guests, stand up and make sure you choose the (few!) words to say carefully. Traditionally, this task would fall to the hosts.
4. Look into the eyes of the person you are toasting with, as a sign of sincerity.
5. If it is New Year's Eve, the toast should be popped with a bang (otherwise it should always be avoided): it will be a good omen for the coming year.
6. Etiquette does not recommend letting the glasses touch each other but simply bringing them closer. This is for the most chic and on formal occasions, otherwise - why not?
What are the occasions for toasting today?
Happiness, love, union, good intentions and challenges achieved... there are many occasions to celebrate with a toast.
Let's toast to new beginnings, to what good has just happened to us and to the future we desire. Sometimes we toast at midnight, sometimes at dawn. Let's raise our glasses to those we love, to those who have just returned and to those who are about to leave. A toast to the family, whether chosen or chosen. To my forever friends.