Perfect Complement: 2009 Woodbridge Cabernet-Merlot

August 24, 2011 

WINE

2009 Woodbridge Cabernet-Merlot, California; $8

If you are looking for the best of both worlds in red wines, then this will be a winner for the price. The aromas of the merlot stand out perfectly. Layers of dark jam, fruit and vanilla cream fill the glass. The flavors are layered and silky with notes of black berries, plums, malt and dark chocolate in each sip. The finish flows with additional notes of oak and vanilla bean, a touch of spice and all of the ripe fruit flavors resurfacing. The softness of the merlot and bold structure of the cabernet make for a great pairing of flavor and style in each sip. These two grapes also make for a perfect food wine, letting it stand up to hearty beef dishes and tomato-based meals. If you are looking for a red wine that will cater to a wide variety of tastes, this is your choice.

SPIRIT

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Liqueur; $23

From one of the oldest whiskey houses comes a favorite with a new twist, a honey liqueur blended with Jack Daniel's whiskey. As soon as you pour this heavenly cocktail, you get hints of the candied honey aromas and that famous charcoal whiskey scent. Once the first sip hits the mouth, the magic begins. A perfect balance of Jack Daniel's and warm honey blended together complement each other without overpowering the taste buds. The whiskey notes of sweet caramel, toasted charcoal and oak give way to a creamy warm honey note in each sip. It's one of the best honey whiskeys on the market. This is terrific on the rocks or with a splash of lemon and mint for a terrific fall drink.

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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