Postcard with wine bottles wishing a happy new year

Toasting is one of our oldest social customs, evolving from prehistoric ritual, to royal banquets, to conviviality and friendship, to romance and love. Though the custom is ancient, the word “toast” dates back only to 17th century England, where it was used specifically to describe drinking to the ladies. In the 18th century, it became common practice to place a bite of toasted bread in the cup before drinking. As the historical story was reported in the London Tatler:

“It happened that on a publick day at the resort of Bath, a celebrated beauty was in the cross-bath, when one of the crowd of admirers took a glass of water from that in which the fair one stood, and drank her health. There was in the place a gay fellow who offered to jump into the bath, and swore that though he didn’t care for the drink, he’d like to have the piece of “toast” therein. He was opposed in his resolution, yet this whim gave a name to the honor, which has ever since been called a toast.”

Or, as one gallant orator proclaimed, “The toast is not only a fitting symbol of good fellowship and cheer, but it is also a graceful medium through which good feelings and noble sentiments can be conveyed from one to another. Toasts are the gems of wit and sentiment that glisten in the crown of social festivities.”

A wine postcard with a handwritten note
Beautiful handwritten postcard
Back of postcard with grapes
Charge your glasses! Here’s to good cheer and a bountiful-vintage 2024 New Year!