Planning to toast in the new year with a special drink?
There are plenty of options out there to satisfy any taste and party budget anytime of year, managers of local wine and spirits stores say.
"We have a variety of prices," said Bruce Murman, manager of Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits. "Our Champagnes start at around $4.99 for simple bottle of Andre on up to $329 a bottle for Louis Roederer Cristal. That's what the Hollywood celebrities drink at parties."
-Messenger photo by Emilie Jenson
Bruce Murman, manager of Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits, shows a sampling of the more than 40 varieties of champagne and sparkling wines the store has available. Murman said the majority of Champagne sales come in the final two weeks of the year.
"You can get a Moscato for $4.99," said Laura Ross, manager of Karen's Spirits and Wine. "We have a good selection under $10."
Primarily a celebratory beverage, Murman said a large majority of his store's champagne and sparkling wine sales come in the last two weeks of the year.
"We sell Champagne throughout the year but the week from Christmas to New Year's Eve our sales are probably eight to nine times greater," he said. "In the last two weeks of the year we can go through 50 to 60 cases in a week."
"We sell a lot between Christmas and New Years," Ross said.
A vast selection of flavors are available from a traditional Moscato to sweeter fruits such as a sparkling raspberry wine. There are even some unusual varieties and flavors for a more unique taste.
"We carry Delicia Whipped," said Ross. "It has a whipped cream flavor to it. They also make a strawberries and cream variety and one that tastes like red velvet cake."
For a sparkling drink likely to satisfy any taste, Ross recommends the Moscato D'Asti, a simple sparkling wine.
"It has a sweet flavor, but it's a little less carbonated, a little less alcohol; it's very easy to drink," said Ross.
Moscato D'Asti is also a best seller at Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits.
"It's light, bubbly, a little effervescent," he said. "A good beverage for waking in the new year."
"It's just the typical toasting drink," said Ross. "Festive with the bubbles."
For those who prefer a dry flavor, Ross recommends a bottle of Vilarnau.
"It's a nice rose," she said. "It's a semi-dry. They make very nice sparkling wines."
For a dry more authentic Champagne flavor, Ross recommends French Champagnes.
"All French Champagnes are more on the dry side," she said.
"We have a little bit of everything," said Ross. "From whites to pinks and reds. Your whites would have more of a citrus flavor and reds more of a berry flavor."
Few people regularly drink Champagne, Murman said. Most purchase the bubbly beverage to commemorate occasions such as Christmas, New Year's or a wedding. With the ever-increasing popularity of flavored wines, he said Champagne sales have decreased in recent years.
"Champagne sales are actually trending down a bit with the popularity and availability of so many varieties of sweeter wines today," he said.