2010 Puiatti Zuccole Pinot Grigio, Italy, $13
This was one of the freshest and most food-friendly wines I have tasted recently. Italian wines tend to have a little more acidity, which pairs perfectly with all manners of culinary delights. The acidity helps clean the palate after each sip, making the menu taste like the first bite throughout the meal. The wine's nose was perfect -- very soft with notes of creamy lemon zest.
Once this wine hits the mouth, the citrus notes become pronounced and new layers of yellow pear and ripe apples become more prevalent. The finish was perfect, allowing all of the fruit to hang perfectly and dissipate as the acidity keeps the freshness of the wine alive.
This is a terrific wine with which to start an evening or to enjoy with seafood dishes.
American Harvest Organic Vodka, United States; $28
Made in the United States, USDA organic certified and packed full of flavor, is the best way to describe American Harvest. Made in small batches with American winter wheat, pure water from deep beneath the Snake River plain and a touch of organic flavors, it is truly a classic. The aromas are clean with subtle hints of wheat. But once this vodka hits the mouth, the magic begins.
It's smooth and clean with notes of spice on each sip and little to no burn. This is a terrific vodka for sipping on the rocks or in your next cocktail. The best way I found to enjoy it was on the rocks with a twist, allowing the citrus zest to bring out more of the flavor.
Of special note, the vodka bottle is 100 percent recyclable -- the ink and frost on the bottle are water-soluble.
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."