2010 Colores Del Sol Malbec, Argentina; $12
This affordable wine starts with a nose of aromas -- layers of plum, white pepper and clove. The flavors follow, with additional layers of raspberry and notes of oak and leather. The finish keeps the dark fruit alive and adds notes of cocoa powder and jam-like fruitiness. All of the flavors combine and perfectly hang on the tongue, letting each have its own turn to shine.
There's just the right amount of acidity, making it a perfect food wine. It would work perfectly with steak or other hearty menus.
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Herradura Anejo Tequila, Mexico; $55
This tequila is for discriminating drinkers. It's made from 100 percent blue agave and aged in white oak barrels. Aromas of agave and dried citrus start in the nose and carry perfectly into the flavors. Additional notes of cinnamon, oak and spice lead into more flavors of pears, vanilla and toffee, keeping things fresh and exciting. The finish lingers nicely with a subtle oak sweetness and citrus notes. There's no burn, just a smooth and delicious drink from start to finish.
I enjoyed mine over ice, but this would be just as delicious chilled straight up. This is an extremely well-made and flavorful tequila worth every cent.
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."