$15 or less
WHAT : Koala Creek Shiraz 2oo4 (red ) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Southeastern Australia
WHY : According to ACNielsen, of all the wines introduced in the last three years, nearly one out of five has some kind of animal on the label. Included in this marketing menagerie are a couple of koalas. This one's very soft, warm, cuddly and companionable, ideal for those who have been clawed by more ornery wines, and very nice at the price.
PRICE : 750 ml/$12.40
AVAILABILITY : At most liquor stores (product #622852)
WHAT : Codorníu Raventós Brut (sparkling white) Rating: NNNN WHERE : Catalonia, Spain
WHY : Start your Mother's Day preparations by picking up a bottle of Codorníu's Raventós. The addition of some Chardonnay to this Cava rounds things out a bit and makes for a very alluring sparkler. Really difficult to stop once you get started so keep an eye on Mom during the Sunday brunch.
PRICE : 750 ml/$ 15.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets (product #521773)
Sips and nips
WHAT : Walkerville Lager Rating: NNNN WHERE : Windsor, Ontario
WHY : This microbrewery has set up shop in an old Hiram Walker warehouse, where the ghost of boozes past is working its mojo on the beer. It just came in third in the American-style amber lager category at the world beer championship. No surprise, given its robust, toasty yet balanced flavour. Cool for the cooler or the connoisseur.
PRICE : 12 x 341 ml/$20.90 including deposit
AVAILABILITY : At the Beer Store and selected liquor stores