“Some things were just meant to be drunk”

Anthony T.Hincks

Is it right to continue to define wines as New World or Old World? That, Mr Shakespeare, is the question!

Let’s look at a few anomalies: The Old World is generally defined as Europe, but not the Middle East whose wine production predates that of Europe by a few thousand years.

The New World includes South Africa, many of whose vineyards predate most of classical Bordeaux and to add to the confusion many of the vines used in Europe now are New World clones, while much of the rootstock in Argentina for example is pre-phylloxera and dates back to old imports from Europe.

We now have Malbec vines in South America that are more honestly old world than those of France but hey ho, without alcohol none of this would make sense anyway, would it?

I prefer to define my own preferences by the season as I've found over the years that I have a tendency to drink Claret, Port and Rhône wines in the winter while preferring Rioja, white Burgundy and the Antipodeans in the summer.

Then again, I've been known to throw caution to the wind and drink Aussie shiraz with a crab salad and Puligny Montrachet with a medium steak.

I guess the motto of this tale is that there are no experts, just people with their own defined palate and a wee tad of knowledge to impart to willing readers.

Personally, I’m a self-made, self-drunk type of chap who only has one guiding rule now: if it smells weak or iffy, leave it in the bottle. I generally find this applies to anything under £8 or £9 but before you think I’m a snob, consider that the film director Michael Winner used to say that anything under £300 was likely to be ropey.

Boschendal Chardonnay, South Africa

I've long been a fan of anything from Boschendal and their chardonnay is a favourite. Soft lush fruits with hints of nuts and a creamy finish.

Waitrose £10.49

Serbal Malbec, Argentina

A lighter style of malbec but there's plenty of chewy autumn fruits and a nice clean finish.

Bottle Apostle £16.40