2007 Sledgehammer Cabernet Sauvignon, California; $15
The name of this wine would have you think it's a big wine, and it does not let you down. As soon as you pour the first drop, aromas of blackberries, cloves and pepper flow over your senses and make your mouth water. The aromas carry over into the flavors and add notes of black plums, cherry preserves and allspice. The fruit flavors are complemented and balanced by notes of dry leather and tobacco. The finish lets the dark fruit and oak notes come together for one last time, letting you know that this is a well-balanced wine. For the low price point, the makers have done a terrific job with this wine.
Rokk Citrus Vodka, Sweden; $14
This newcomer in the vodka market has a very clean bottle design and an even cleaner taste. Aromas of sweet ripe lemons and key limes hit the nose as soon as you pour it in the glass. The flavors are distinct, with the lemon notes playing the most prominent role in the tasting experience and lingering nicely on the finish. If you like a slightly sweeter flavored citrus vodka then this is a true winner. It's perfect for mixing or just simply on the rocks, and the price makes it ideal for holiday parties and gifts.