Cheers!~ A blessing. To wish some one good cheer and happiness.

Cheersis the title of many of the artworks in my wine series.I give this title asa blessing, wishing viewers good cheer and happiness.

Cheers” is an expression, often used as a greeting or toast. It is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of goodwill. While often involving alcoholic beverages, especially champagne and wine, toasting is not limited to alcohol and as a custom it can involve celebration or ceremony with any beverage. The origins of toasting date back to 1640, and the first known use of ‘cheers’ was in 1930.

Various stories claim the custom of touching glasses is related to concerns of poisoning. Clinking glasses together causes each drink to spill over into the other thereby discouraging one from poisoning another for fear of mixing beverages. Offering a toast was therefore a gesture of good faith. However, no verification of this has been found.

The International Handbook on Alcohol and Culture says toasting “is probably a secular vestige of ancient sacrificial libations in which a sacred liquid was offered to the gods: blood or wine in exchange for a wish, a prayer summarized in the words ‘long life!’ or ‘to your health!'”

The term “toast” comes from the ancient practice of dropping a piece of burnt bread into wine. One of the first written accounts of it was in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor when Falstaff demands, “Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t.” (He is asking for a large quantity of wine with toast in it.) Toast was put in lower quality wine to temper it. The charcoal soaked up some of the acidity making the wine more palatable.

Drinking joined in celebration spans time and connects cultures. While the physical and / or verbal ritual of a toast may vary – from elaborate and formal to simple and unceremonious – the intent of benevolence and fellowship is universal.

My wine series has been featured and collected internationally. It is in the collections of The Conrad Hilton Hotelin Dubai, Naked Wineryin Oregon, Silvan Ridge Wineryin Oregon, Cox Canyon Vineyards in Washington, Metate Room Restaurantin Mesa Verde National Park, and numerous private collections. It was commissioned for Telluride Wine Festivaland featured in Wine Enthusiast MagazineWine Pass Magazine, and on the television show Portlandia.

Read more about my wine series here, and see my entire wine series here.