$15 or less
WHAT Montalto Nero d'Avola Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (red) Rating: NNN
WHERE Sicily, Italy
WHY Sicily is home to the appealing Nero d'Avola grape. Here it's blended with the more wide-ranging Cabernet Sauvignon. While this wine's got some decent flavour, its real value is the balanced kick it delivers on the finish, making it suitable for beefy dishes. Sensibly topped with a screw cap.
PRICE 750 ml/$9.15
AVAILABILITY At selected liquor stores (product #621151)
WHAT Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs (white) Rating: NNNN
WHERE Nuits-St-Georges, France
WHY Made from Burgundian Chardonnay and governed by the same production rules as Champagne, this Crémant is a delicious nose tickler. I really hate to start talking about the holidays before I've even made myself sick on Halloween candy, but if you're thinking way ahead of the game, think about this.
PRICE 750 ml/$18.95
AVAILABILITY At selected Vintages outlets as of October 27 (product #48801)
Sips and nips
WHAT Heineken Five Litre Draught Keg Rating: NN
WHERE Amsterdam, Netherlands
WHY This CO2-powered keg is brilliant. It's really cool having a beer tap in your fridge, it's easy to use, and the keg is purported to keep suds fresh for 30 days. On the downside, it's filled with innocuous Heineken andit costs 13 per cent more per millilitre compared to just buying the standard 12-pack of 330 ml bottles.
PRICE 5 l/$34.95
AVAILABILITY At most liquor stores (product #56796)