Evan Williams Honey Reserve, Kentucky, 70 Proof, $19, 750 ml
This is a match made in heaven -- two terrific tasting treasures blended into a pure delight. The aroma of honey jumps out of the glass along with hints of sweet oak and subtle citrus notes. Once it hits the mouth, the sweetness of honey marries perfectly with the warm flavors of the whiskey. There is no burn but just a smooth, delicious-tasting experience. This is a great drink to warm up with or just to sip while watching the game.
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, while the cabernet give it a firm backbone to stand up to almost any meal. The flavors are layered and silky with notes of blac berries, plums, malt and dark chocolate in each sip. The finish flows perfectly with additional notes of oak, dried berries and a touch of spice. Then all the ripe fruit flavors resurface, giving it loads of character. 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 people's tastes, this is your choice. For less than $10, it will not break the bank and it will amaze you.
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 on Twitter under the name "winereview."