$15 or less
WHAT : Yellow Jersey Pinot Noir 2005 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Languedoc, France
WHY : France strikes back with plastic bottles and a big marketing campaign. Reasonably Pinot-like. If you're looking for a big, floppy wine, look elsewhere. Who says alcohol isn't a performance-enhancing drug?
PRICE : 750 ml/$14.95
AVAILABILITY : At most liquor stores (product #41004)
WHAT : William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux 2006 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Chablis, France
WHY : Here's a case study of the Chablis expression of Chardonnay by one of the most respected and long-established names in the region. Polished, precise and edgy; a real palate slapper. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Perfect with oysters and capable of aging.
PRICE : 750 ml/$20.30
AVAILABILITY : At selected liquor stores (product #276436)
Sips and nips
WHAT : Martell XO Cognac Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Cognac, France
WHY : Jacques Chirac said no to Iraq, so now that he's gone, a toast of cognac. This is very suitable stuff for presidential drinking. Elegant and incredibly smooth, with a big, round, sweet cinnamon core and a glowing finish. No to war. Yes to extra-old brandy. Long live the republic.
PRICE : 750 ml/$199.95
AVAILABILITY : At a limited number of liquor stores (product #29165)