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Want a cheaper way to ring in the new year?

POSTED: January 5, 2009 5:00 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Donald Waara holds a bottle of inexpensive sparkling wine while sorting through a display of wines at Vine & Cheese on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. Ringing in the new year doesn't have to break the bank.

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With New Year’s Eve just a week after Christmas, no doubt many will be looking for economical ways to celebrate the holiday.

Though New Year’s Eve typically conjures up ritzy images of champagne and tuxedos, a holiday get-together doesn’t have to be expensive.

Donald Waara of Vine & Cheese on Thompson Bridge Road said a good quality champagne or sparkling wine to toast the new year doesn’t have to be expensive.

One of his top sellers is a bottle of sparkling wine from New Mexico called Domaine St. Vincent.

"I’m selling it for $12.99, and I’d value it at twice that," Waara said. "This is as rich and full bodied as a white wine can be."

The cheapest bottles on the market go for under $5, but Waara said cheap, mass-produced sparkling wines are low quality and can cause headaches.

"I know everybody’s on a budget, but you can get good bottles for under $10," Waara said.

Waara said less expensive bottles from Spain, France or Italy likely will be good quality.

Another good way to make a New Year’s Eve celebration festive without breaking the bank is decorations.

Maria Ramos, a supervisor at Party City on Dawsonville Highway, said balloons are an inexpensive way to decorate for a party.

"It’s very decorative and I guess fun," Ramos said about balloons, which cost $8.99 per dozen at Party City. "A lot of people get a lot of balloons."

Another way to save is to take advantage of after-Christmas sales.

"We usually have a lot of sales," Ramos said. "You can put a party together without spending too much."

Party City also sells party packs, which include hats and noise makers in bulk. Each item costs about 79 cents.

There are also some inexpensive events happening on New Year’s Eve.

Those willing to drive can hit the free Peach Drop New Year’s Eve Celebration in Atlanta. The event takes place from noon Dec. 31 to 4 a.m. Jan. 1 at Underground Atlanta.

There also are a number of New Year’s Eve celebrations going on in Gainesville. They range in price from $10 per person cover charge at The Dam Bar New Year’s Eve Party in Buford to $100 per person for an Evening at Montaluce in Dahlonega. Both events include a toast at midnight, though the Evening at Montaluce event features Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and a multicourse dinner.


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