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

April 27, 2011 

WINE

2007 Prazo De Roriz Douro Doc, Portugal; $17

This is a terrific wine for the spring and summer, pairing perfectly with grilled steaks and chicken or even grilled vegetables drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Aromas of vanilla bean and ripe black plums fill the glass and perfectly carry into the tasting experience. Once the wine hits the mouth the fireworks begin. Layers of black cherries, creamy vanilla, oak notes and earthiness take over the taste buds. On the finish, bright red fruits start to show and combine with the soft oak notes and hints of spice. This is a nice, complex wine.

SPIRIT

Jack Daniels Ready To Drink Cocktails, four-pack; $9.99

These cocktails are terrific, delivering just the right touch of flavor and kick in each sip. They come in three flavors -- Jack and Ginger Ale, Jack and Cola, and Jack and Diet Cola -- and are packaged in recyclable aluminum cans, which chill quickly and make them perfect for taking to the pool or a picnic.

One thing I always fear with ready-to-drink cocktails is the artificial taste you can get. I am a Coca-Cola guy and hate anything but that taste. The Jack and Cola had a great taste and the diet also had strong similarities to Diet Coke. The ginger ale drink was perfect on its own, or you could add a twist of lime to make an interesting cocktail.

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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