$15 or less
WHAT: Drostdy-Hof Chardonnay 2006 (white) Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Tulbagh, South Africa
WHY: Here's a great summer all-rounder. It's not designated by district or even by region, so who knows where the grapes come from? But who cares? Enough oaky smoothness for woodheads, but focused jabs of bright fruit lend versatility. Excellent for less than a sawbuck.
PRICE: 750 ml/$9.65
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #343202)
WHAT: Michele Chiarlo Gavi 2006 (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Piedmont, Italy
WHY: You've cherished and honoured your Pinot Grigio over the years, but there have been times when you've been tempted by another. Gavi awaits you - so new, so fresh. Light-bodied, with notes of white pepper and citrus, this is a perfect match for that summer catch of freshwater fish. "Oh, Gavi, we've got to stop eating like this."
PRICE: 750 ml/$19.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets (product #30247)
Sips and nips
WHAT: Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka. Rating: NNNN
WHERE: Turew, Poland
WHY: Important information: this is really good vodka - mellow, smooth and sweet (by vodka standards). Interesting information: it's made from Polish rye, and "wyborowa" means "exquisite" in English. Trivial information: starchitect Frank Gehry had something to do with the design of the twisty bottle.
PRICE: 700 ml/$40.15, on sale until July 22
AVAILABILITY: At selected liquor stores (product #602789)