$15 or less
WHAT: Monkey Bay 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Marlborough, New Zealand
WHY: It's natural to match white wine with vegetarian dishes. Beyond that, it's just a matter of fine tuning. A good NZ Sauvignon Blanc like this one will have some zip (acidity) and stand up nicely to dishes that lean toward citrus, salt and oil. Also great for grilled vegetables.
PRICE: 750 ml/$14.50
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #620062)
WHAT: Deboeuf Moulin-á-Vent 2003 (red) Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Beaujolais, France
WHY: If you've renounced the flesh but are hooked on the blood (as in red wine - you know, church and all that), then things get a little trickier. One variety that's gentle enough to work with most veggie dishes is Gamay. This Moulin-á-Vent is a fantastic expression of the grape. Very versatile and extremely drinkable. Quantities are limited, so get it while you can.
PRICE: 750 ml/$18.75
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores while supplies last (product #154864)
Sips and nips
WHAT: Zen Green Tea Liqueur Rating: NN
WHY: For those who proclaim themselves vegetarian - except for eggs, sometimes fish and occasionally chicken, but only white meat. This sugary concoction is "derived from the essence of ceremonial Japanese green tea." Perfect for the dietarily compromised: a booze marketed under the banner of an ancient belief system.
PRICE: 750 ml/$36.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #605220)