Christmas at Biltmore, American White Wine, $15
This wine is a blend of different vintages and from different locations, making this a must-have this holiday season.
The label was created by Marcus Thomas of Weaverville. N.C. He was paralyzed from his neck down in a skiing accident 25 years ago. Painting allows him to stay connected to the outdoors.
This wine starts with a nose of honeysuckle buds and creamy lemon notes, evoking the scent of warm summer flowers, ripe oranges, creamy meringue pie and tropical fruits. The finish is balanced perfectly with notes of fresh pear and a soft sweetness.
This is an excellent wine for any occasion, but it's especially terrific with quiche or cream-laced dishes.
Crown Royal Maple, Canada, 80 proof, $2,5 750 ml
The classic flavors of Crown have been softened and sweetened just a touch with the release of Crown Royal Maple.
The nose is packed full of warm maple syrup notes and the vanilla softness you expect in the classic Crown Royal. The nose is so soft and inviting that you want to keep going back for another sip -- and this is before you've even had your first taste.
There are layers of light maple along with the creamy vanilla bean and spice you are used to from Crown, with the maple taste returning in the finish. This is an excellent Crown for someone who says they don't like dark liquor.
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.