2008 Waterstone Pinot Noir, California; $22
This wine starts with a rich, layered nose of black raspberries and vanilla, which perfectly flows into the taste profile. Once the wine hits the mouth, it slides like silk. Flavors of cherry, ripe plums and brier strawberry mingle with hints of earthiness. The fruit flavors follow onto the finish, and spice notes emerge to give this wine even more depth. Waterstone also makes a wine called Study in Blue ($45), a blend of cabernet, merlot and syrah that is out of this world.
Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka, Idaho; $24
If you are looking for a Kosher, organic, carbohydrate- and fat-free beverage, then Blue Ice Organic is your drink. It starts with hints of bread crust and clean, crisp minerality. The taste was terrific -- clean and crisp with just a touch of wheat and no burn. This could be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed into a martini for a new twist.
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."