Types of Toasts
The Group Toast
Drinking to people used to be and still is in many ways the same today
as it was done many years ago in Greece. Out of respect, the person performing
the toast should stand up, and everybody stands up too. If the person
being toasted to is important enough, everybody else must also raise
their glasses. If wearing a hat, men should always remove them. While
the toast is spoken it is very important to look the person you are
toasting to in the eyes. To end the toast, a silent bow or a simple
little nod of the head will do. Everyone then sips the wine.
Taking small sips for the toast is the modern and correct way of doing
it. A long time ago, you were expected to drink everything in the cup
and most often it would be a rather large cup that would be passed around
and shared. Today we have our own glasses which we use instead of sharing
just one cup.
The Two Person Toast
Toasting is also very popular between two people. In ancient
Greek times, this was called "proposes" or "the drink before".
The person who initiated the toast sips first and then hands the cup or
bowl to the person being honored. If it was a special occasion such as
a wedding, the cup itself would usually be a permanent gift to the receiver.
For example, a bowl full of wine might be given from a father-in-law to
the son-in-law. The cup or bowl would become the symbol of the bride (given
away as we still call it) by her father. The two men and two families
have now become one through the shared wine.