“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”

Benjamin Franklin

The old saying of Burgundy for Kings, Champagne for Duchesses and Claret for gentlemen is close to the truth these days when you look at the prices.

There was a time when you could buy a decent Gevrey for less than the cost of a Range Rover but sadly those days are long gone.

Don’t get me wrong, I don't have a downer on the region, because they produce some sublime reds, but sadly they also produce a lot of thin, fruitless, dusty ones and unless you read up on producers and vintages, it’s rather easy to get caught out.

Decent Burgundy has become a niche, once or twice-a-year wine for many people, but with low production volumes and high demand, the bubble doesn't seem to be about to burst any time soon, so good luck to them.

Personally, I'll stick to the New World and preferably the gorgeous, sexy pinots of the Napa Valley. Old vines, lots of sun and winemakers who have to face up to the public who visit the vineyards in droves make for some cracking wines.

Before anyone thinks it, I'm not just saying this because I missed pinot out of the last two weeks' visits to California. The previous columns were about big juicy reds and I don't think pinot noir fits very easily in that category. Soft silky and seductive would be a better classification, or perhaps even wines for cheese because it can't just be my palate that adores the combination of the two, especially the harder, aged cheeses.

Pinot noir is often called the Holy Grail of grapes by winemakers and the heartbreak grape by others because it can be notoriously difficult to get right, but California and to a lesser extent South Island in New Zealand have made it their mission statement to crack the grape and good luck to both.

California, however, is miles ahead of the opposition and right now that includes Burgundy. Dare I suggest that the Napa pinots are currently the best in the world, even if they aren't the most expensive!

Au Bon Climat, Pinot Noir

Lovely aromas of black cherry and spice with soft summer fruits on the palate. On the lighter side but a great wine to pair with food.

Bottle Apostle £28

Cuvaison Estate Grown Pinot

Rich, warm dark cherries with hints of spice and a very fruity finish. A real cracker of a Pinot and well superior to many a top Nuit St George.

Tanners online £32