2009 Cardinal Beastly Old Vines Zin, California; $10
This wine has everything: loads of flavors, hints of oak and a finish that just keeps going and going. It starts with a terrific nose of blackberries and sage, which carries over to the mouth with the first sip. Once the wine hits the mouth, the flavors come alive -- layers of dark fruit, touches of spice and notes of creamy vanilla bean and oak. This is a full-bodied wine that is still approachable and food-friendly. It's a perfect match for full-bodied tomato sauces or heavier meat menus.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
Mark One Vodka, United States; $10
This is a terrific vodka for mixing. You'll be able to make martinis that won't break the bank. Smooth and clean, it is distilled five times. Subtle aromas of creamy citrus zest quickly dissipate, and the vodka delivers a clean bold flavor with a touch of pepper and alcohol that does not linger. It would be terrific in any of your favorite vodka drinks.
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."