$15 or less
WHAT : Riscal Tempranillo 2003 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Castilla y León, Spain
WHY : Here comes barbecue season. All you need is a rust-bucket grill, a skanky old weed-patch backyard or a bleached-out deck and you're on your way to flame-food heaven. And that means burgers, which could mean a bottle of this stuff. It's reasonably priced and has presence and body.
PRICE : 750 ml/$11.20
AVAILABILITY : At most liquor stores (product #620898)
WHAT : Yannick Amirault Le Grand Clos 2003 (red) Rating: NNNN
WHERE : The Loire, France
WHY : Another delicious product of the 2003 vintage. This time it's from the Bourgueil appellation in the Loire Valley. Here are the trademark light and savoury qualities of a classic Cabernet Franc, about which wine writer Jancis Robinson says, "Think pencil shavings." Sounds goofy, but try this wine and you'll realize pencil shavings never tasted so good. Act fast; this wine will be gone soon.
PRICE : 750 ml/$23.95
AVAILABILITY : While supplies last at selected Vintages outlets (product #663567)
Sips and nips
WHAT : Carlsberg beer Rating: NN
WHERE : Montreal, Quebec
WHY : We won the war with Denmark, right? There are no giant dogs roaming Hans Island, and Vikings have ceased to threaten Newfoundland's coast. So what's Moosehead, Canada's oldest independent brewery, doing making a moderately lame Danish beer like Carlsberg? Why even have a military if this is going to happen?
PRICE : 12 x 341 ml/$19.95
AVAILABILITY : At the Beer Store and liquor stores