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COLUMN: Why do we toast?

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Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 8:00 am | Updated: 11:22 am, Fri Dec 28, 2012.

Since ancient times, from the Greeks to the Romans, glasses of wine had been lifted in either celebration to their gods or to those recently fallen. This raising of the glass evolved through time in celebration of great accomplishments or an oath of loyalty.

Fast forward to 1643. The Middle Temple, who often used cooked bread (or obviously toast) to dip in their wine to improve the flavor, raised their glasses to then-Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, swearing their allegiance and lives to her.

Fast forward to today when we raise our glasses to many things, from engagements, weddings and graduations to those who have fallen. We even raise our “glasses” at the end of sporting events and when the ball drops on New Year’s. It is an event of hope, but what I want to focus on is that it is an event of thanks.

As I hinted at in last week’s column, when it comes to Thanksgiving, there is a multitude of various wines that you could choose to pair up with your meal. From Pinot Noir to Rosé to Gewürztraminer to Dry Riesling, these wines pair up beautifully with most, if not all, Thanksgiving meals, but let’s keep our eye on the prize. Thanksgiving is more than just a dinner or parade or some football games. Thanksgiving is a time to raise a glass to what we have in this life. Don’t have everything? Then you have something to strive for. Don’t have a job? You have family, friends and your health.

As you may know, earlier this year, I lived in Oregon, learning as much as I could about wine and on my trip there (just outside of Salina, Kan.), I lost a job that I never even had a chance to work at in a town that had an unemployment rate of roughly 22 percent. I was stuck on a desert island of unemployment, applications, resumes and interviews, but I still learned as much as I could about wine, and inevitably, about life. I moved there from Florence to make a home. Turns out, home was always right here.

So I raise my glass to you, the readers, in thanks for not only reading this column, but your questions and the hopes that I can give you as much knowledge in wine to make your experiences with wine more pleasant. Drink what you will, but remember to enjoy the company with those around you and embrace the fellowship that we don’t get to share every day. Be thankful.

— Joshua Mason is the fine wine buyer for Micky Finn’s on South Cashua Drive in Florence.

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