$15 or less
WHAT: Don Mendoza Reserve Merlot (white) Rating: NNN
WHERE: Mendoza, Argentina
WHY: This is a really good wine for the price - very approachable, but with some coffee and herbal depth. Not just a big bubble-gum Merlot. And for those of you looking for tasty kosher tipple, hurry up and grab what's left of the Don.
PRICE: 750 ml/$10.55
AVAILABILITY: At a limited number of liquor stores (product #29306)
WHAT: Ninth Island Pinot Noir 2005 (red) Rating: NNNN
WHY: Ninth Island is the second label of the well-regarded Pipers Brook winery. It has an alluring softness that forces you to acknowledge the truth of the somewhat un-PC cliché that Pinot is "the feminine grape." Pinot fans should be sure to try this one.
PRICE: 750 ml/$19.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets (product #24976)
Sips and nips
WHAT: Coors Light Rating: NN
WHY: When is my bland light beer cold? If you have trouble pinpointing that elusive frosty zone, you'll benefit from the new Coors Light, with its cold indicator right on the can. But until all beers come with built-in thermostatic devices, I think we should try to learn this stuff for ourselves. If you're not sure, put the can on your nipple: nipple static = warm, nipple hardening = cold, nipple adhering = frozen.
AVAILABILITY: At the Beer Store