Ordinary people drinking ordinary stuff.
If there could be any more damning indictment of the United States than the popularity of Mitt Romney it would involve the country's appalling taste in beer. This so-called "original Budweiser" hails from Czech Republic and is everything the Yankee lolly water isn't. The malty sweetness is counterbalanced by limey, citrus hops with an overall crisp, dry taste. Goes down effortlessly, belying its 5 per cent strength. A true session beer. ★★★★
By Richard Swainson
Chai Berriboston, Domaine, $15
Pavlova in a cocktail. This surprise - yet scrummy - topping was on Domaine's Berriboston cocktail. It's shaken with the rest of the ingredients - Absolut Wild Tea vodka, sugar syrup, lemon juice, before a small amount of ginger beer is added. This came out with a big head on it. The flavour was like a raw pav mixture - there are egg whites in it, too, confessed the waitress. Absolutely amazing marriage of flavours going on here. You really do need to have a second drink. ★★★★★
By Belinda Feek
Villa Maria, Southern Clays, Pinot Noir, 2009
From the north facing slopes of Marlborough's Wairau Valley comes a particularly decadent pinot noir that picked up well-deserved gold medals at both the Royal Easter Show and Air New Zealand wine awards in 2011. Beneath the silky texture are complex flavours of dark and red cherry fruit with a hint of spicy cloves. It's a wonderful red but at the pricey end of the scale, with most websites quoting prices in excess of $55 (gulp). ★★★★ Maryanne Twentyman