Cold comparison

New from International Delight come three flavors of iced coffee "sweet & creamy coffeehouse drink," sold in half-gallon cartons in the refrigerated case. The obvious product for comparison is Starbucks Frappuccino, the 9.5-ounce bottles of which, sold unrefrigerated, are labeled more simply as "coffee drink." Frappuccino is somewhat sweeter than the International Delight drink, which contains several more thickeners - and is notably thicker.

Cheap 'n' creamy

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Kraft has several varieties of its sliced cheeses with cream cheese blended in. The ads, which say it "makes for an amazing melt," feature this unlikely slogan: "Make something creamier-er-er." It's the same quantity for the same price as regular cheese. But because cream cheese is cheaper than others, it should be cheaper. Except the bags of the regular sliced cheeses contain 8 ounces of cheese. The bags of creamier-er-er slices have only 7 ounces.

Make your own

When products disappear, loyal fans get frustrated. Usually, it's very difficult to come up with a substitute. Here's a recipe for garden-flavor cottage cheese: Mix a 16-ounce carton of cottage cheese with 3 or 4 sliced green onions, a stick of diced celery, half of a diced cucumber and a cored, diced tomato. Stir in a splash of Worcestershire sauce, about 1 teaspoon celery salt and a tablespoon of mayonnaise.

Wine of the Week

2009 Ridge "Three Valleys" Zinfandel

Region: Sonoma County

Price: About $20

Style: Elegant, complex

What it goes with: Grilled chops, stews and roasts

Anything but jammy and in your face, this Zinfandel exemplifies elegance and restraint. A blend of mostly Zinfandel with old vine Carignan and a little Syrah and Petite Sirah, the 2009 shows off ripe juicy fruit, silky tannins and a bright acidity tempered with the bite of white pepper and spice.

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