Saturday, December 29, 2012
This New Year's Eve, celebrate at home with a local sparkling wine, or join the crowd in downtown Traverse City.
The Perfect Sparkling Wine
When you think of New Year's Eve, you can't help but think of champagne. But only sparkling white wine from the Champagne region of France can be called champagne. Everything else is sparkling wine. And for that, you needn't look any further than the Leelanau Peninsula.
L. Mawby, just south of Suttons Bay, produces only sparkling wines, under two labels, each using a different method. The L. Mawby label features wines made in the traditional methode champenoise, with the second fermentation done in the bottle. Prices range from $20 to $33. The M. Lawrence label, with prices ranging from $11 to $17 per bottle, features wines made using the cuve close method, with the second fermentation done in closed tanks.
My favorite, under the M.Lawrence label, is called Wet. It is made from Pinot Gris and Riesling grapes. The juice from these two grapes is fermented in stainless steel tanks, which gives it a crisp, clean texture. This bottle sells for $17.
If you're looking for a fun place to celebrate New Year's Eve, I have a great suggestion for you. Downtown Traverse City will be packed for the 4th annual CherryT (Charity) Ball Drop.
Right before midnight a large illuminated cherry will be lowered, while thousands of people yell out, "TEN, NINE, EIGHT, SEVEN . . . " The evening starts at 9 p.m. with live entertainment and a DJ.
My husband, Jeff, and I attended this lively and merry celebration last year. Since the ball drop is outside, I would highly recommend that you dress warmly. Even though it does get very crowded, the mood is electrifying and you can't help but dance the night away. I guess that is how you stay warm!
While the ball drop is free, event organizers collect money and non-perishable food donations to support local food pantries, Goodwill Industries and the Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center. You also have the option of purchasing a $25 VIP/Backstage Pass. New this year are two dance parties; one for families from 5:30-8 p.m. and one for ages 21+ from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. with a full bar featuring Michigan craft beer, wine, spirits and cider. Both will be held at ECCO at 121 E. Front St.
See the event website for more information and to purchase VIP or dance party tickets: http://www.cherrytballdrop.com.