Make a special toast with something special

  • By Jeff Wicklund / Special to The Herald
  • Saturday, December 18, 2004 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

“Let’s propose a toast,” is the beginning of many holiday festivities, and this season should be no exception. But what are we toasting? And with what are we toasting? There certainly is no shortage of highly qualified excuses and quite worthy libations for the occasion, so if you’d do me the honor, let’s take a moment to look at a few of both that I hold dear.

Let’s propose a toast to the one thing that we many times take for granted: our health. It’s easy to be of the mindset that you’re bulletproof when you have the benefit of youth, but as we all get on in years, taking a pause to appreciate the gift of health is, well, pretty healthy.

Let’s propose a toast to the memory of those who cast a long shadow upon us, which we strive daily to stay within. I’m reminded most vividly during the holidays of one such luminary in my life who used to preach, “Christmas is love and not commercialism.” With a twinkle in his eye, he was able to belt out a stirring Brook Benton rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful” that always warmed my heart.

Let’s propose a toast to our families, who are most likely to tell us the truth (whether we like it or not). At the end of the day, they are there for us, to help guide us to tomorrow.

Let’s propose a toast to the people in uniform around the world that are working tirelessly to protect all of us. From the New York Fire Department to the Everett Police Department to the soldiers deployed overseas, they all give so much of themselves and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be safe and free.

And ultimately, let’s propose a toast to proposing more toasts. Whether it’s a simple pause before imbibing with a tink of the glass and a meeting of the eyes, a custom my wife and I take seriously, to a full-blown, stand on a bar, shout out to the world. This custom that dates back centuries is an important unifying gesture and it may even have a positive effect on the flavor of the particular beverage with which you choose to toast.

Over the past 20 or more years that fermented grape juice has piqued my interest, I’ve proposed many toasts with a multitude of different styles of wines. Over the past year there have been a few wines that really stood out as exceptional even with my brief oratory dribble that preceded consumption. I’m including a short list of my favorites.

So, if you’re feeling a bit toasty this holiday season, and you want to make the experience of raising your glass to something you feel strongly about a magical one, than look into investing in one of these phenomenal wines. They all should still be available at Western Washington Specialty Wine Retailers.

Jeff Wicklund can be reached at 425-737-2600, or

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