General Mills introduces lightly sweetened Dora cereal

Dora the Explorer Cereal

Dora the Explorer, found on everything from backpacks to sneakers, now has her very own cereal. General Mills recently introduced a star-shaped, cinnamon-flavored corn cereal based on the star of the popular animated Nick Jr. series. Dora, an adventurous, bilingual Latina heroine, even merits a bilingual cereal box.

The cereal is lightly sweetened and crunchy, with a pleasing hint of cinnamon. The best part is the fun star shape. The cereal contains just 6 grams of sugar per serving and also provides a good dose of fiber, so it should be a favorite for both parents and kids.

The suggested retail price is $3.49 for an 11.5-ounce box.

Ecco Domani wine blends

For those who just can't choose between their reds and whites, Ecco Domani has developed two new wine blends. The winery's 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot is a medium-bodied wine blending the rich texture of cabernet with the softer merlot. The 2005 Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio mixes the richness of chardonnay with the crisp, refreshing flavors of pinot grigio.

The white wine blend has notes of apple and peach, and pairs well with seafood and light pasta dishes, while the red wine blend is a good match for grilled meats and tomato-based pasta dishes. To be honest, we can't foresee a situation where it would be impossible to choose between these wines. Some tasters enjoyed these new wine flavors, but others found the blends weren't quite as good as their individual counterparts.

The suggested retail price is $11 per bottle.

Chimes Ginger Chews

Cost Plus World Market stores have recently begun selling Chimes Ginger Chews, a taffy-like treat made from an Indonesian recipe dating back three generations. The candies, available in Original, Peanut Butter and Peppermint flavors, offer a strong ginger flavor dusted lightly with sugar.

Ginger has been touted for its ability to protect the liver from toxins, cleanse the colon and settle the stomach. The ginger used to make these candies is stone-ground to extract its pure essence.

Chimes candies are definitely chewy, and the flavor is powerful. Ginger lovers will adore these candies, which pack just 16 calories a pop, while others might find them too strong. The cute, colorful tins would make great gifts or stocking stuffers.

The suggested retail price is $1.99 for a 2-ounce tin.

- Compiled by Staff Writer Shelley Mann