The Perfect Complement: Beverage expert helps you pick your next sip

April 20, 2011 

WINE

2008 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay, California; $20

This family-owned winery consistently makes some of the best wines you can find at great prices. The Riva Ranch chardonnay displays loads of classic chardonnay flavors with just the right amount of oak influence to make it a perfect food wine. It starts with a nose of yellow apples and honeysuckle. Layers of warm stone fruit, spice and vanilla round out the tasting experience. The finish is warm and full, with delicate notes of creaminess and apple notes resurfacing. This is a chardonnay that will work with almost any meal you put in front of it; truly a great wine.

SPIRIT

Chambord Vodka; $30

If you love the flavor of black raspberries, then this is a vodka that will win you over from the first sip. This flavored Chambord in the crown sphere bottle makes for a delicious tasting experience any way you mix it or straight up. The aromas are subtle with a slight berry sweetness. Once it hits the mouth, notes of warm black raspberry coat the mouth. This vodka's flavors expand when mixed. It was classic and tight when tasted on the rocks but once mixed with club soda and again with tonic, the flavors exploded. It's a terrific vodka 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."

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