2007 Greg Norman Shiraz, Australia; $15
This winery has a history of producing some high-quality wines for a fair price. This shiraz exceeds in both categories. It starts with hints of berries and cigar box aromas that get the taste buds kicking into gear for the first sip. Once this wine hits the mouth layers of ripe cherries, black plums and spice coat the tongue like silk, delivering a terrific medium-bodied taste. Layers of black fruit jam, oak and warm cherry notes resurface on the finish, with hints of all the flavors combining perfectly. This is an extremely well-made and balanced wine. It's great with steaks or tomato dishes.
Coruba Pineapple Rum, Jamaica; $15
As soon as I poured this rum I could smell the pineapple aromas floating by, along with notes of spice. The flavors are terrific, with soft hints of pineapple on the front of the mouth and the natural flavors of the rum on the finish. It's not overly sweet or artificial in flavor -- just nice and easy sipping. It had enough great flavors and style that it could be enjoyed over ice by itself as a cocktail. It's perfect for spring -- and summer, too.