Raise a Glass: How Santa Barbara Vintners Toast

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo
story published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on 12/31/15

As we gather with family and friends this New Year’s Eve, it’ll be tough to bring a glass to our lips without, first, raising it up high.  ‘Tis the season of the toast, after all – the artful acknowledgement of special people, special memories and special wishes.  For many of us, a daunting task.  But for many of Santa Barbara’s vintners, it’s a perfect reason to take pause and reflect, or at least a perfect excuse to refill.  Often moving, sometimes funny, occasionally irreverent – but always heartfelt.  Here are some of their favorite toasts.

Peter Cargasacchi, Cargasacchi Vineyards and Point Concepcion
Here's to gentle rains and sunshine bringing us green grass and fat cows. May we, our friends and our families all be sassy, still standing and happy in a year.”

Angela Soleno, Turiya Wines
Life, being a series of moments strung together, forms each of our own individual realities.  The world is what we create.  Set your sights on being graceful, and compassionate.  Let's love one another.  Right now, we must remember that little changes can make huge differences in our lives and others’.  We can only change THIS moment.  Drink it in.  Celebrate with me.”

Bryan Babcock sharing the wealth
Ashley Parker Snider, Fess Parker Winery and Epiphany Wines
“My dad, Fess (Parker), used to jokingly say, ‘Grace, go on home while we eat supper.’  When the food arrived he would also often say, ‘Pardon me while my conversation drops off.’  My go-to is typically, ‘To friends, family and good health!’"

Bryan Babcock, Babcock Winery
“The only time I would say something other than, ‘Cheers!’ is if it is a specific situation.  For example, if I was with a bunch of Libertarians, I would say, ‘Here’s to Liberty!’  Other than that, ‘Cheers!’ is a fast and effective way to be get the beverage to the lips.”

Bruce McGuire, Santa Barbara Winery
“Here’s to family, friends, good food on the table and delicious wine in the glass. Another  year doing what we love,  who could ask for anything more?”

Sarah Fox, Fox Wine Co.
“We toast to health and happiness, the love and prosperity of family and friends, and for the year ahead to be the best one yet!  We are so thankful for everyone and everything in our lives and those that have yet to enter.  Live each day to the fullest, be kind and give and treat others as you want to be treated. Cheers to the New Year!”

Larry Schaffer (Bob Dickey photo)
Karen Steinwachs, Buttwonwood Farm Winery and Seagrape Wine Co.
“I always now do start a toast with, ‘To Dave!’ because food and wine were his second biggest loves. (I was #1!).  And as on our wine label, we combine two island toasts:  “We be lymin!” (St. Croix) and “Why Aye Man!” (England – this is a “dialect” known as Geordie, from where Dave originally hailed in the northeast).”  (Karen’s husband, Dave Robinson, passed away suddenly in 2014.)

Larry Schaffer, Tercero Wines
“To me, New Year's Eve is a time of remembrance and reflection. It's a time to look back at the previous year and give thanks for family, friends and, hopefully, good health. It's a time to remember those who passed away that year, and reflect upon the highs and lows of that year. It's also a time of hope - for a new year brings new beginnings and new challenges, which are always welcomed.”

Richard Sanford, Alma Rosa Winery
“I always like the Spanish toast:  ‘Salud, Amor y Pesetas…. y tiempo para disfrutarlos.’  Translated, ‘Health, Love, Money… and time to enjoy them.’”

Rob DaFoe, Tanner DaFoe Wines
“I typically cheers to my grandfather and the other men and women that fought in World War II.  Also, cheers to angry poets and cheers to friends and their continued health.  Then, with raised glass, ‘Up yours and down mine!’”


1 comment:

  1. The executive chef here was a genuinely nice person and never made us feel like we were just "business" for him. He was extremely competent and organized. Because of the natural beauty of the venues in NYC, we were able to get away with very minimal decorations.