Last week, I talked about why we clink glasses. This week, it’s all about the etiquette of clinking glasses. I hope you enjoy it. A big thank you to Vintage Roots, Thrillist and Vinepair for their help with this article.
Clinking Glasses the Right Way
We tend to clink glasses without thinking much about what we’re doing. After all, we’re happy and celebrating. But is there a “right way” to clink glasses? Yes, there is.
- Rim. For starters, never clink the rims, which can easily shatter. Also, since you’re tilting your glass towards your fellow clinkee, you’re more likely to spill wine. Also, it doesn’t sound very good.
- Bell to Bell. You always want to clink the bell, which is the rounded part in the middle of the glass. This is the strongest part of the glass. Aim to tap the bell of your glass to the bell of your guest’s glass. And be ready for the beautiful resonant ring.
- Angle. Tilt the glass slightly towards yourself, keeping the rim away from your partner’s glass.
- Be Gentle. You don’t want to have a wet disaster on your hands.
- Don’t Fill It. Ideally you want the glasses to be a third full. In France, filling a wine glass more than halfway is considered crass.
Etiquette Rules Around the World
So I’ve just talked about the etiquette rules associated with the glass itself. Here are some important customs to know when you’re outside of the United States:
- In Hungary, don’t clink someone’s glass during a toast. Apparently, in 1849, 13 “martyrs of Arad” were executed. Since then, there has been no glass clinking.
- In much of Europe, you need to maintain eye contact when clinking. In Germany, they claim that if you break eye contact, you will have seven years of bad sex!
- China fills wine glasses all the way to the top! So be very careful when you’re toasting. You might even want to skip those toasts.
- If you’re in the country of Georgia, get ready for some serious toasting. They have a toastmaster, or Tamada, who heads up the toasting at dinner parties. The Tamada leads a dozen or more toasts. This tradition has ancient origins that some believe go all the way back to the late Bronze Age. These toasts will be made to friends, family — dead and living — and whatever else is on the toastmaster’s mind.
How Do You Say Cheers in Other Languages?
Since we’ve explored the etiquette of clinking glasses both here and abroad, it’s time to learn some new ways to say Cheers!
- Afrikaans – Gesondheid
- Scottish, Irish Gaelic – Sláinte (pronounced slawn-cha)
- Spanish – Salud
- German – Prost
- Danish – Skal –(pronounced Skoal)
- Dutch – Proost (pronounced prohst)
- French – Sante
- Japanese – Kanpai
- Portuguese – Saude
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