The History Of The Champagne Toast

15th September 2021

Champagne Richard-Fliniaux Glasses

The Champagne toast dates back to the 6th century in Greece where wine was libated ceremoniously to offer appreciation to the gods for good health. The reason the word ‘toast’ is included in the phrase goes back to Shakespearean days where one would put some stale toast in wine to soak up the acidity and make the drink more consumable. Over the years the toast became included in different ceremonial events, most particularly weddings, where guests raise a glass in honour of the happy couple for long life and good health.

The rise of Champagne

Champagne became the beverage of choice for toasting in the late 19th century and has been the staple of joyous and prestigious celebrations ever since. It was initially only used in royal courts before it became more affordable and thus more accessible. The New Year’s Eve Champagne toast became a standard around the world during this time and continues to be a valued tradition to this day.

Though the act of raising a glass has traditionally occurred with Champagne as the drink of choice, Prosecco is often used as a more affordable alternative. The only true Champagne hails from the Champagne region of France and is known for its clean and crisp flavour profile which is highly sought after around the world.

Events that are marked by raising a glass

People who enjoy horse racing especially love a good Champagne toast whether it is just getting together for an event or celebrating a win. Whether you are attending the Adelaide Cup, one of the more prestigious Morphettville races, or spending a day of fun, frivolity and fashion at Oaks Day in Melbourne, there is always something to toast. Champagne became a staple in horse racing which depicts the elegance of the sport with a beverage that is highly coveted by the elite of the industry.

As the Irish proverb goes, “There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships, may they always be!” This is a poignant saying taken at face value but to the keen eye, it is saying much more than what is laid out. It is a common value amongst sailors that their shipmates are the ones who take care of each other during long voyages at sea.

The Champagne toast is that it has been used to herald a ship that is about to go on its maiden voyage. It is known as the ceremonial ship launch and as records hold, this tradition first dated back to 3000 years BC in Babylon, where they would bless their new ship in the hope of protecting the seamen who were on board. This is also similar to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans who would also bless the new ships with different ceremonies. Shrines were placed on Greek and Roman ships and they would drink wine and pour water on the ships to placate the gods to make sure that the ship would have a safe and successful journey.

In one form or another, the Champagne toast has been around for millennia and is a charming tradition used to celebrate notable events like a birthday, a horse racing win or the new year and especially a wedding. There is nothing that starts a good celebration like the ting of a Champagne glass among friends and family alike.

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