Reverberating Celebrations!

I love the word celebration.  It has a reverberating energy that’s hard to describe.   To celebrate means to observe a notable occasion with festivities.  On December 31st, millions of revellers around the world in some 24 different time zones will fill streets, town squares and attend large and intimte gatherings to welcome the New Year.  At exactly 12 o’clock midnight, if you just stand still, you can almost hear the wishes for a “Happy New Year” for miles and miles around.  If you live in or near a big city, the fireworks start at midnight and seem to go on forever. 

For others, this is a time of quiet reflection.  Millions will attend church services, others will toast in the New Year watching popular television shows with family and friends.  And yet others will not make it until midnight and will have fallen asleep well before any announcement of the New Year can be made.   

However you decide to welcome the New Year, it is worth at least giving a nod to the fact that it will arrive at exactly 12:00 midnight on December 31st.  As with all other years, the year 2009 promises to be unique and one of a kind.   


Rose Champagne Bubbles.jpg

Champagne and Sparkling Wine: For a toast to the victories of 2008 and to hopes and wishes for 2009!


Consumer Search Top 5 Best Reviewed Champagnes

Best value, sparkling wine

1. Roderer Estate Anderson Valley Brut NV (Est. $20) – Said to easily be mistaken for fine French Champagne because it’s made using techniques used by top French producer Louis Roederer. 

Best Inexpensive bubbly

2.  Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut NV (Est. $15) – Called an elegant champagne style wine for under $20.

Best value, French Champagne

3.  Nicholas Feuillatte Brut NV (Est. $30) – Referred to as lively and festive with hints of peach and citrus.  If kept in a cellar for a year or so, it will develop even further. 

Best special-occasion Champagne

4.  Charles Heidsieck 1995 Blanc des Millenaires (Est. $100) – Called the best bet in its price class.  It is a chardonnay-only Champagne and is said to be creamy, with flavors of honeycomb, flowers, bread and minerals.  Reviews say it’s complex with a lingering finish. 

Best value, sparkling rosé

5. Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé NV (Est. $25) – The fruity flavors and delicate pink hues of rosé sparklers have given them a rise in popularity.  This Brut Rosé is a light salmon color and tastes of berries, figs and ginger according to reviews. 

Add a few berries to my flute and call these picks delicious!


Singing in the New Year: Words to “Auld Lang Syne”

Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and is set to a traditional folk song.  It is often sung around the world at the stroke of midnight to celebrate the start of the new year. 

The translation means “days gone by.”

English minimalist translation


Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never come to mind?
Should old acquintence be forgot,
and old times since?


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun til dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.



Good Luck Foods And Other World Traditions


My family has had two food traditions for many years, one is cooking oyster stew and the other black-eyed peas for good luck.  I suspect both are Southern traditions, given my family is from the South.   The notion of eating black-eyed peas likely stems from ancient superstitions that eating beans will increase fertility.

If you’re not planning to cook black-eyed peas for your celebration, a neat party favor might be to fill small cello bags with 1-2 cups of them and cinch with a silver bow.  Along with a party hat, horn and popper, this would be a cool and memorable reminder of a fabulous 2009 celebration!


Sicilians ring in the New Year with a plate of pasta for good luck.


Other Traditions


Wear yellow underwear for good luck.  Venezuelans also write wishes in a letter and burn it so they come true.


Single women put 12 men’s names on slips of paper, plus one blank slip of paper under the pillow.  When they wake up the following morning, they select one of the slips of paper, which means that is the person they will marry.


Danes horde old plates to throw at friends’ houses.  They believe that broken china means more friends.


Whatever your tradition, the very best to you in 2009!



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