What is the mysterious bond that exists between beer and dogs? A quick countrywide count turned up 14 microbrews with a canine in their name, including Red Dog, Dog Spit Stout and Atomic Dog Ale. There are also quite a few dog-friendly pubs, like The Lucky Labrador in Portland, Oregon, and The Great Dane in Madison, Wisconsin.

Spirit of Sweden
It's not often (almost never) that a new aquavit arrives in this country--let alone three! Choose from spicy Herrgårds, mild Skåne or rich and powerful O. P. Anderson (available nationwide).

A Shot of Style
These clever 2 1/2-inch porcelain cups depict characters from Swedish tales and are meant for drinking aquavit ($37.50 each; 800-448-8252).

Wine of the Month
A first-rate Bordeaux-style wine is made in the unlikely land of Lebanon. Château Kefraya, located near the city of Chtaura, produces a much-praised Cabernet blend that's rich, ripe and concentrated ($23; at select wine shops).

Dynamic Dessert Duo
The wine world's two wildest Austrians, Alois Kracher, of Alois Kracher winery, and Sine Qua Non's Manfred Krankl, are creating a California dessert wine called Mr. K. It debuts this fall.

Not so long ago wine labels were decorated with cute hand-drawn maps and folksy musings. Now they sport techno-talk like "unfiltered," "unfined" and "certified clones." Or, as with one new wine, Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay, give star billing to the fermentation process.