Champagne sales fizzle for New Year

A traditional ringing in the New Year
A traditional ringing in the New Year Rodger Mallison / Star-Telegram / MCT

No matter how eager some may be to kiss 2008 goodbye, consumers aren't as enthusiastic about a traditional New Year's staple — champagne.

Thanks to a year full of economic woes, fewer people will be popping bottles of the bubbly drink tonight.

A research firm of spirit sales, Impact, projected sales of champagne to decline between 1 percent and 4 percent this year from the estimated 900 million glasses sold in 2007.

In Manatee County, several liquor stores and wine shops say they, too, are seeing fewer people purchase champagne to fill up their glasses for a New Year's toast.

"We're seeing people are typically going for a lower priced drink," said Cheryl Hughes, marketing manager and assistant manager at Vino 100 Bradenton. "Last year, people had a little more disposable income."

To cater to the consumer, the wine shop on State Road 64 East has more prominently stocked and displayed French sparkling wines, which retail at $15 per bottle and lower.

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