We are commanded to make holy the Shabbat day (Exodus 20:8). While there are many ways in which we sanctify the Shabbat, the most obvious entry point is whenever a Jewish person fills a goblet with kosher wine on Friday evening and blesses it. The roots of this tradition go back to biblical times, beginning with Ezra the Scribe.
There are actually two blessings for the kiddush, one is for the wine, and the other for the day.
Tradition varies as to whether we sit or stand while uttering the blessings. The prevalent tradition is to stand to add an element of added holiness and solemnity to the day.
Before blessing the wine, we begin with a song for the Angels: Shalom Aleichem.