2011 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, $15
New Zealand has always been known for producing crisp, high acidity sauvignon blancs. This wine, in particular, has a terrific balance of fruit and acid to make for a perfect tasting experience. Starting with a nose of freshly sliced lemons and a subtle creaminess, you can feel your mouth start to water in anticipation. Upon that first sip the fireworks explode -- bright, crisp citrus notes pair perfectly with hints of sweet cantaloupe and kiwi. The finish keeps the acid in check with melon and cream notes, holding to key lime flavors. This is a great wine to pair with salads, oysters or salsa-topped chicken.
Bacardi Wolfberry Blueberry Rum, 70 proof, United States, $18
Wolfberry is widely used in Chinese dishes and teas. In fact, the Chinese use 45 percent of the world's harvest. It is traditionally sold dried or cooked. It is added to dishes or mixed with tea, wine or jelly. The combination of wolfberry with blueberry in Bacardi's newest flavor of rum makes for a terrific drinking experience. The rum has a tart beginning, and then there's an intense blueberry rush, with a tapering cranberry finish. This is a perfect combination of flavors and would work with a wide range of cocktails. Mix it with tonic, soda water or Sprite for a new twist, or add it to lemonade for a fun fall afternoon drink. You could even mix it into a colada drink for a neat take on the tropics.
Columnist 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 at www.twitter.com/winereview.