Let’s start with some advice: don’t drink a light wine with heavy food, a burgundy goes great with roast lamb and make sure your dessert wine is sweeter than the pudding you serve (or your mouth will pucker). Above all, experiment and explore. Here are a few more tips.
Forego champagne for this superb English sparkling wine instead. It goes well with smoked salmon, toasted almonds or olives.
Pinot gris goes with almost any food; here the wine and cheese mingle admirably and embellish one another.
A fruity, quaffable wine from the Friuli region. It has enough acidity to stand up to the most saline of salumi.
Easy-drinking and excellent with potatoes, squashes, sweet carrot soup – you name it.
A weighty dry rosé that will win over the crowds whether served with meat, fish or cheese. This is a super summer standby.
Rich but not too heavy, this Castello di Volpaia red wine has the strength to meet big flavours head on.
A big, rollicking, fruity, alcoholic affair (14.5 per cent) for kebabs, meatballs, barbecues and even roast beef. Go easy on this one.
A stunning pinot noir; match with chicken, guinea fowl or duck
Swartland is a great place for winemaking but still a largely unknown area to the buying public. This is one of the best.
Incredible with prawns (cold or bathed in garlic butter). This Santorini white has soul, sharpness and bite aplenty.
A complex and rich half-bottle ideal for apple tart, nut mousse, chestnut soufflé or almond cake.
Try with sticky toffee pudding or Christmas cake, with hard and blue cheeses or even by itself. Sublime, sweet and versatile.
A half-bottle from Brigaldara; rich, sweet, cherry-chocolate notes. Perfect with truffles, cake or profiteroles.
A big white Rhône valley wine is always worthwhile. This Californian version hits all the right notes.
An incredibly delicious classic for Stilton and other blue cheese. The year sounds impressive and such generosity will undoubtedly stun your companions.