Most of us love toasting the New Year with sparkling wine (or champagne), and we love drinking the bubbly delicacy throughout New Year’s Eve. Wouldn’t it be fun to find a new New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wine tradition?
In honor of the upcoming holiday, I did some googling, and I found two interesting traditions that I would like to share with you. One is from Russia, and the other is from Spain.
Russia’s New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wine Tradition
Starting with Russia… What is a common New Year’s Eve practice in Russia?
According to Savored Journeys, “on New Year’s Eve in Russia, it’s a tradition to write your new year wish on a piece of paper, burn it and dump the smoldering ashes into your glass of Champagne, which you then gulp down at midnight.”
Spain’s New Year’s Eve Sparkling Wine Tradition
Now for Spain… What do Spaniards do on New Year’s Eve?
They eat 12 grapes, one with each toll of the bell at midnight. They follow their grape eating with a toast of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine). Consuming the 12 grapes at midnight is believed to bring good fortune.
According to Food Republic, “Eating the grapes pretty much guarantees starting off the year with a little adrenaline rush, and most likely some laughs. While the goal of getting the 12 grapes down in time can spark a contest of who is más macho around the table, the biggest challenge is more likely to be not gagging as you cram them in your mouth and try to swallow while laughing hysterically.”
The explanation behind this tradition? Gloria Ferrer says the tradition dates back to 1909, when grape growers in Alicante implemented it as a way of dealing with a production surplus they were facing.
The result of a solution to a business problem 100+ years ago has become a very fun tradition that is celebrated in homes, restaurants and ballrooms throughout Spain. How cool is that.
I think the grape tradition is one that I will adopt this year. How about you?
Cheers and Happy New Year!