Tahlequah Daily Press

December 28, 2011

Spirits for ringing in the new year

The final in a two-part series gives tips for finding the right adult beverages.

By ROB ANDERSON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Ringing in the New Year with family and friends on the home front is a long-standing practice among those who enjoy the annual event. Others seek out a public establishment to raise a glass of their favorite bubbly.  Regardless of where the clock strikes 12, having the right champagne to enjoy that evening is always an important detail.

The selected champagne should be a timeless and natural offering most partygoers believe worthy of enjoying for any special occasion.

Mary’s Liquor owner Dirk Van Veen said the Verdi Spumante and Barefoot champagnes are a popular choice to offer party guests.

“And, of course, we carry all of the premium champagnes like Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot and Roederer’s Cristal,” he said. “The moscato champagnes and wines have been very popular. Barefoot has a moscato line of champagnes and these are very popular because they appeal to a sweeter palate.”

According to an International Business Times online article, the Roederer Estate Brut is described as a “rock-star champagne for the rock-bottom price.” This low-priced bubbly, which offers a nutty, toasted flavor followed by a citrusy finish, can be purchased for about $20. Another more slightly expensive champagne noted was the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Particuliere, also known as Brut Blue Label. It has a smooth and refreshing taste with a fruity flavor produced from a mix of top-notch grapes and can be purchased for under $40.

“We have a large champagne selection we roll out of every year, and we have a large display of what’s offered,” said Van Veen, who also noted his liquor establishment also offers a large selection of seasonal beers. “And we carry the traditional Christmas wines. Our bourbon selection has grown this year. In the past, [the trend] has been vodkas and flavored vodkas. This year, it’s been American-produced bourbons. You’re seeing bourbon bars now. On my last trip to Brooklyn, I noticed quite a few bourbon bars. You’re even seeing women enjoy a bourbon on the rocks. Those trends usually start on the coast before it starts heading this direction.”

If a fine wine is desired for 2011’s final hours, some of the rated wines Van Veen’s store offers include a Washington region Chateau St. Michelle Merlot Columbia Valley Indian Wells 2008, an Argentina-produced La Posta Del Vinatero Malbec Uco Valley Pizzella Family Vineyard 2007, a German selection Loosen Brothers Riesling QbA Mosel Dr. L 2009 and a Spain-produced Bodegas Martin Codax Albarino Rias Baixas 2008.

Trends in 2011 showed many wine drinkers were looking for value-priced wines under $20, and South American wines topped the list of purchases, according to The Washington Times review of the top 10 wine trends. Malbecs from Argentina grew in popularity, while Chile’s Carmenere gained ground with wine enthusiasts. Local wines became a popular choice among customers, as well. For those looking to try a selection with Tahlequah connections, Mary’s Liquor offers a line produced by Nickel & Nickel winery located in Napa Valley.

“The Nickel family will be offering a new wine this year,” Van Veen said noting the local family and business owner of Greenleaf Nursery . “It’s called EnRoute, a pinot noir. We carry all of their wines.”