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Drinks: Look to where it's warm

Molinari Limoncello di Capri

Molinari Limoncello di Capri Photo Credit: Handout

The first jolts of winter this year are more than enough to make you fantasize about warmer places, and the beverages that go with them.

Fresh from a 16-degree wake-up call, I'm drifting toward a sunny day along the Amalfi Coast and a glass of Molinari Limoncello di Capri, a delight made with lemons from Capri and Sorrento. Nothing like an infusion of lemon peels to brighten you up. It charms you, either on the rocks or straight. A bottle of the high-octane sunshine is about $22.

Heading south to the Sicilian coast, enjoy Cantine Florio Marsala, either sweet or dry. It's the fortified wine that brings life to zabaglione and does a fine job either before or after dinner on its own. These flavors of Trapani also are good company with cheese. Both are about $14.

A light, floral quality defines the 2011 Colomé Torrontés, a refreshing white wine that has citrus notes. The fragrant, inviting Argentine production is a match for seviche, sushi and, yes, tacos. You'll like it with spicy Asian dishes, too. A bottle is about $15.

And for red evocations of Spain: the 2008 Torres Celeste, from Ribera del Duero; and 2009 Salmos, from Priorat. The full-bodied, fruity Celeste delivers lots of spice and more than a hint of blackberry. Very good with red meat and with cheese. Celeste goes for about $24. Salmos, a ripe blend that adds syrah and cabernet sauvignon to garnacha and cariñena grapes, is smooth, toasty and lush, leading to a long finish. Try it with a steak. About $38.

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