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Drinks they might like: Hail to the chief

In the spirit of Presidents Day: top-of-the-ticket American wines and whiskey. No super PAC required.

Consider the 2009 The Federalist Dueling Pistols, a red blend, fruity, peppery 50-50 union of zinfandel and syrah. The name refers to the final encounter between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. $35.

Duckhorn Vineyards' portfolio features the 2008 Paraduxx, a Napa Valley red blend of zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon. Balanced, dependable, with a distinctive personality. Theodore Roosevelt would approve of the wine and the blue wing teal label, too. $48.

The 2008 Rodney Strong Symmetry, an Alexander Valley red blend, combines power and finesse, and a long finish. The supple wine is primarily cabernet sauvignon, backed by malbec and some merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc for a successful alliance. FDR's kind of wine. $55.

Cabernet sauvignon and merlot are the main grapes in the 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage. It also includes malbec and petit verdot. The result has hints of plum and blackberry -- and an affinity with red meat, burgers to steaks. A nonpartisan $11.

Although its name suggests Tommy James & the Shondells, or at least Joan Jett, the 2010 Concannon Conservancy Crimson & Clover is about spice and lively fruit. The mostly petit sirah red blend stands up to strongly seasoned fare. A populist $15.

Going from grapes to grains: Jefferson's Rye, North American Straight Rye Whiskey, aged 10 years. Full-bodied, smooth, aromatic, a "very small batch" with spicy flavor. A presidential $40.

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