2009 Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon, California; $14
This is a powerhouse wine for the price. It delivers structure, flavor and style. This sauvignon starts with a dark, rich nose of blackberry jam and cocoa powder that floats out of the bottle as soon as you pull the cork. The flavors are out of this world -- ripe, juicy blueberries and blackberries, hints of white pepper and chocolate-covered cherry richness. The finish allows some vanilla cream and oak to blend with the dark red fruit flavors. It would pair perfectly with sliced skillet steak, rib eye or even hamburgers. This is a terrific wine for a wonderful price. You can drink like a king without paying a king's ransom.
The Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky, Scotland; $34
This is a part of the Famous Grouse line of Scotch and delivers terrific flavors and unique character in each sip. The nose starts with notes of smoked peat, dried orange zest and hints of oak, all of which perfectly carry over to the taste. Once it hits the mouth, sweet, earthy peat and smokiness are finely balanced with a citrus layer. The finish is long, allowing the smokiness to dissipate and the spice and fruit notes to linger. Overall it's a very nice blend with great complexity. It's a great alternative or addition to any Scotch lover's collection.
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."