With only hours left before we ring in the New Year, Ryan and I felt it was important to share with you the age old Spanish tradition of consuming 12 grapes in 12 seconds, a tradition we’ll be participating this evening with a bottle of cava and a bbq cooked seafood paella. Huddled around their television sets with hands, glasses or small bowls filled with 12 grapes – some peeled, some seedless, others red, but all good – Spaniards will be eagerly awaiting the first chime of midnight, indicating the moment when the very first grape is consumed. However, one must be quick, because if you don’t consume all 12 grapes before the 12th chime, you will not received all of your 12 wishes.
Interestingly, our most popular post on Catavino.net to date describes this tradition. Yes, we are sad that an article on Sherry still has not reached massive popularity as of yet, but maybe one day. For now, we’ll celebrate the world’s united interest in grape consumption, and hope that any of you who choose to participate in this tradition will remember 2 very important secrets: 1. do what most Spaniards do and take out the seeds before midnight strikes, and 2. make sure all of your wishes are written down prior to the first grape consumed. Note: not everyone can make wishes and inhale grapes at the same time.
So without further adieu, here are our 12 wishes for 2009!
- Visit the USA at least once this year: Although Ryan had the chance to see friends and family last August, Gabriella is still aching for a USA road trip. Maybe a coastal ride from San Francisco north to Washington may be in the cards?! Anyone want host two friendly bloggers?
- A Visit to Galicia and the Dao: These two regions have been on our to do visit list for quite some time, as both can lay claim to producing some absolutely incredible wines.Ã‚Â We look forward to discovering and sharing more wines from these regions with you!
- Have a successful and fun Wine Blogger Conference. It’s true that we had a ridiculously fun time last year with our 40+ participants from 11 different countries in La Rioja, Spain, and we trust that this year will be no different. As wine bloggers tend to be a rather fun and interesting bunch, we’re already gitty with anticipation for the 2009 edition. Hopefully, we’ll see lots of new faces among our old friends. More details to come….
- Cook more food with friends! Sometimes it’s difficult to keep that artistic flare burning inside you when you don’t have enough foodies in your life. Hence, come 2009, we’re planning on getting what few foodie friends we do have together on a monthly basis for some no-holds-barred meals!
- Health. Between a broken hand and the Delhi Belly, we’ve seen way too many hospitals in 2009. Add massive congestion and you have very poor conditions for drinking wine. Therefore, we hope and pray that the coming year will be filled with happy and healthy wine bloggers, eager to taste more wine and food from the big peninsula!
- Have more friends and family visit us in Spain. Although Gabriella’s entire family has hinted on a visit in 2009, among many quasi commitments among friends, we truly hope that we can share Iberia with others. It affords us the opportunity to share all the things we love about these countries, not excluding their amazing wine and food culture. If you happen to be coming this way, please don’t hesitate to contact us, as we love any excuse to explore more of Barcelona.
- Spend an entire week exploring London! Like Paris, we’ve been severly teased with airline transfers, but not time to actually play in London. For us, this is like putting a plate of fresh oysters and cava infront of us and saying, “you can look, but no touching”! Thus we are committing to a week of fun and adventures with the hope that we will meet several of you upon are arrival!
- Frame. Frame. Frame. Although we’re embarrased to admit this, we have had gorgeous maps, pictures and posters sitting in our closet for years without getting the attention they deserve on our walls. We’re going become framing fools starting January 1st, and with any luck, will get at least a few pieces framed before the end of the year! (PS – Why is framing so damn expensive anyway?)
- 40 Hour Work Week! When you start a business, 80 hour work weeks are not the exception. You toil and fluster over every detail in hopes that you can slowly grow what started as a tiny thought, a seed in our brains, into something tangible and large. But come 2009, we would love to experience something called a “personal life”.
- Expanding our Cultural Palate: You know when you live someplace, you tend to avoid all tourist traps that actually make your location interesting? Although I grew up in Chicago, I never went up the Sears Tower until a visit with Ryan in my late twenties. This coming year,Ã‚Â we will definitely plan to visit the Picasso and Dali museum, take a historical tour of the Gothic district, see a concert at the Palau de Musica, and experience at least one outdoor concert. Life is too short not to take advantage of all that Barcelona has to offer!
- Improve our Spanish and Portugal. It’s bad. We won’t lie. We can stumble through just about any conversation just fine, but are we graceful…nope. Hence, the coming year’s weekly schedule will include a chunk of time dedicated to foreign language study. Mind you, we’ve never actually studied these languages, having picked our babble through street conversation. So who knows what kind of magic we can pull off with some grammar study.
- Find more Foodie Writers for Catavino!!!!!!!! Although we are ecstatic to have such wonderful writers for Catavino, we are still on hunt for more. We know there are some foodies out there who just so happen to love Iberian wine as well. If you are in the wine or food world, and are interested in writing for Catavino, please contact us!
So there you have it. We’ve got our 12 wishes out of the way, allowing us to put our full attention on some serious grape eating. However, we would still love to hear what some of your wishes would be for the New Year!! Where would you like to go, eat, drink or experience come 2009? Plus we want to know how many of you dare to eat the grapes! (see below)
With that, we sincerely want to thank all of our readers and fellow bloggers for your support, and wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!
Gabriella and Ryan Opaz
Catavino, where we build custom tours in Portugal and tours in Spain. Contact us if you are interested in learning more! We'd love to make your dream trip a reality.