Something to start
Wiston Estate Blanc de Blancs NV, England
Forego champagne for this superb English sparkling wine instead. It goes well with smoked salmon, toasted almonds or olives.
For most occasions
Trimbach pinot gris reserve 2016, Alsace
Pinot gris goes with almost any food; here the wine and cheese mingle admirably and embellish one another.
For cured meat
Ponte Del Diavolo refosco 2016, Italy
A fruity, quaffable wine from the Friuli region. It has enough acidity to stand up to the most saline of salumi.
Villa Wolf pinot gris 2017, Germany
Easy-drinking and excellent with potatoes, squashes, sweet carrot soup – you name it.
For roasted vegetables
Domaines Ott By Ott rosé 2018, France
A weighty dry rosé that will win over the crowds whether served with meat, fish or cheese. This is a super summer standby.
For starches (pasta or potatoes)
Chianti Classico 2016, Italy
Rich but not too heavy, this Castello di Volpaia red wine has the strength to meet big flavours head on.
For red meat
Ravenswood Lodi zinfandel 2014, California
A big, rollicking, fruity, alcoholic affair (14.5 per cent) for kebabs, meatballs, barbecues and even roast beef. Go easy on this one.
Rudolf Fürst Bürgstadter Centgrafenberg spätburgunder GG 2013, Germany
A stunning pinot noir; match with chicken, guinea fowl or duck
Mullineux Quartz chenin blanc 2016, South Africa
Swartland is a great place for winemaking but still a largely unknown area to the buying public. This is one of the best.
Gaia Estate wild ferment Assyrtiko, Greece
Incredible with prawns (cold or bathed in garlic butter). This Santorini white has soul, sharpness and bite aplenty.
For fruit and nut puddings
Chanton Wein Heida Mario Beerenauslese 2007, Switzerland
A complex and rich half-bottle ideal for apple tart, nut mousse, chestnut soufflé or almond cake.
For rich spicy puddings
Dow’s 20-year-old tawny port, Portugal
Try with sticky toffee pudding or Christmas cake, with hard and blue cheeses or even by itself. Sublime, sweet and versatile.
For chocolate puddings
Recioto della Valpolicella 2016, Italy
A half-bottle from Brigaldara; rich, sweet, cherry-chocolate notes. Perfect with truffles, cake or profiteroles.
For hard cheese
Qupé Bien Nacido Roussanne 2015, California
A big white Rhône valley wine is always worthwhile. This Californian version hits all the right notes.
For soft cheese
Graham’s vintage port 1983, Portugal
An incredibly delicious classic for Stilton and other blue cheese. The year sounds impressive and such generosity will undoubtedly stun your companions.