Remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally where they’re dancing the night away at this massive New Year’s Eve party? All the grown-ups are decked out in their finery, sipping champagne, counting down at midnight and kissing everybody within arm’s reach.
That’s the image of the “perfect” New Year’s Eve I’ve had in my head since I was a kid. I couldn’t wait to grow up and go to big, fancy parties with all these glamorous people. (Minus the bad hair and bubble skirts.)
Of course, reality seldom comes close to the fantasies of an 11-year-old girl. When I did finally “grow up”, so to speak, my New Year’s Eve parties had a tendency of falling short of my expectations. It seemed the more effort and excitement that went into the planning, the more disappointing the results. Not to mention the astronomical expense for what was usually mediocre offerings.
So the year after a particularly dreadful millennium experience, hubby and I decided to ditch the idea of the big New Year’s Eve blowout and enjoy a good time at home in our jammies - and we've been doing it ever since. Sometimes we'll have some friends over, haul out the fondue for that retro feel, and nosh on beef in béarnaise sauce and crudités in melted cheddar. There’s usually a game or two of Settlers, euchre or Cranium going on. And there is always, ALWAYS wine. Lots of wine. And then some more wine. (And then evenMOOOOOOOREwine ...)
Our beverage of choice for New Year's Eve is Peller Estates Signature Series Ice Cuvée (formerly known as Founder's Series Cristalle NV). During the fermentation process, the disgorged lees are replaced with a dosage of icewine. If you're not much of a fan of traditional bubbly -- myself, I find many of them flinty, harsh and far too dry -- the slightly sweet effervescence of the Ice Cuvée provides a well-balanced alternative.
Food-wise this year, we’re setting aside the fondue in favour of a gourmet take-home dinner for two from the Mackay Street Epicuria in Ottawa. No cooking, very little cleaning, and lots of good eats. And we can still stay in our pyjamas, which beats the heck out of any party downtown.
Wherever you find yourself tonight, may you enjoy a happy, memorable and safe New Year. Cheers to 2008!