$15 or less
WHAT : Donini Sangiovese Rubicone 2005 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE : Alto Adige, Italy
WHY : Tasty cheap wine - yay! If this one's not out in the stores yet, it will be soon. It's quite light, with some appetizing zip and, surprisingly at this price, still has some Sangiovese qualities like cherries and earthiness. Nine dollars wouldn't be bad for a regular bottle, but it's a real value for a full litre.
PRICE : 1000 ml/$8.95
AVAILABILITY : At most liquor stores (product #669168)
WHAT : Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2003 (white) Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Southern Rhone Valley, France
WHY : Guigal is revered for the wines it produces from the famous appellations of the Rhône Valley, and this is an affordable way to get in on the action. The fragrant Voignier sets the tone, but other varieties keep things going steady. An attractive, versatile, food-worthy white that will make you look all sophisticated and in-the-know.
PRICE : 750 ml/$16.95
AVAILABILITY : At selected Vintages outlets as of September 29 (product #290296)
Sips and nips
WHAT : Neustadt Scottish Ale Rating: NNNN
WHERE : Neustadt, Ontario
WHY : Neustadt makes great beer. The Scottish combines smooth, malty warmth with deft hopping to create a completely winning ale, made in a brewery built in 1865 with its own source of natural spring water. Currently, it's only available at the Queens Quay liquor store, so get out there and create a demand.
PRICE : 6x341 ml/$11.95
AVAILABILITY : LCBO, 2 Cooper (product #686337)