$15 or less
WHAT: Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
WHY: Fresh beginnings, resolutions - all that malarkey works for wine, too, so why not start off the new year with this relatively economical example of New Zealand's acclaimed Sauvignon Blancs? It's bright, fresh and focused but not overpowering, qualities that will put you on the right track faster than digging up that gym membership.
PRICE: 750 ml/$14.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets as of January 7 (product #662882)
WHAT: Studert-Prüm Riesling Kabinett 2004 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
WHY: If you like the idea of a wine that's light and low in alcohol but maintains the potential for complexity, try a German Riesling Kabinett. This Studert-Prüm exhibits the virtues of the style, successfully balancing sweet and tart. It's sort of like biting into a crisp green apple.
PRICE: 750 ml/$15.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets as of January 7 (product #912741)
Sips and nips
WHAT: An Cnoc 12-Year-Old (single malt scotch) Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
WHY: Already forgotten about old acquaintances? If you're trying to keep the vague Scottish cultural allusions going, then get ready for Robbie Burns Day with this single malt. If you find most scotch a little too domineering, this is the one for you - soft, sweet and pretty, it's a bonnie wee dram.
PRICE: 700 ml/$54.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets as of January 7 (product #358341)