Types of Toasting
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.
Today, the two person toast is done with each person having their own glass. One or both people usually announce what they are toasting to and then clink the glasses for good luck.