2008 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Zinfandel, California; $8
If you're looking for a wine that can stand up to barbecue, pizza and everything in between, this is your choice. This zinfandel displays fruit-forward notes and enough structure to hold its own against hard-to-match menus. It starts with a tantalizing nose of chocolate-covered cherries. Layers of dark cherry and plum marry perfectly, with notes of white pepper and dark chocolate flowing over the tongue and lingering until the next sip. At less than $10 a bottle, this wine is a true winner.
Alize Gold Passion, France; $18
This is a delicious blend of French vodka and passion fruit. It's terrific in a martini, on the rocks or in champagne. Aromas of sweet, tropical, delicate passion fruit and orange grab the senses as soon as you pour it in the glass. Layers of the rich, tropical fruit flavor are followed by just a hint of the vodka. This would be great over ice for the summer.
Lain Bradford is a wine writer and reviewer who has achieved his first level master sommelier certificate and is working toward his Certified Wine Educator degree. He only writes about beverages that are available in South Carolina and Georgia. Follow him on Twitter under the name "winereview."