As we’re now very much into the summer drinking season, I thought I’d focus on the wonderful wines of Australia. Whether you’re sitting in the garden with a chilled Chardonnay, or risking a barbecue with a decent Shiraz, Australia epitomises summer glugging.

We have never consumed so much Australian wine in Scotland, and the land down under continually vies for the top spot in our affections challenging the traditional big players such as France and Italy.

This is quite an achievement considering Australia has really only been on our radar since the late eighties, and France has held the top spot for 200 years. Accessibility, approachability and affordability have been the hallmarks of Australia’s success. We don’t need to keep these wines for years before opening, and we don’t tend to need a second mortgage before purchasing. Unless, of course, you have a penchant for the Hill of Grace or Penfolds Grange.

South Australia will tick most of your boxes for concentrated Barossa reds, and cooler climate, more elegant Eden and Clare Valley Rieslings. All perfect for our sure to be balmy summer.

Here are a few to seek out this weekend…

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Clare Valley Riesling 2018 (Majestic, £12.99, on offer at £9.99 at time of writing). This is perfect for the garden, or as a wee aperitif while you cook. The zestiness in the glass also makes it a good match with Asian fusion dishes.

Barossa Chardonnay 2017 (M&S online, £8). This is a great wee wine with a price that takes us back in time to when we fell in love with Aussie wine in the first place. Grab a few before they disappear.

Wakefield Estate Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Majestic, £11.99, on offer at £7.99 at time of writing). The Wakefield Cab highlights the versatility of the region with the concentration of the South Australian fruit, balanced in the glass by an elegance derived from the cooler Clare Valley. Have this one with a thick steak.

And, if you’re blowing the budget…grab a bottle of Ben Glaetzer’s Amon-Ra Unfiltered Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016 (Inverarity One to One, £39.99). Bottled at 15.5%, this is neither shy nor retiring, but it will show you just what the power of the Barossa can do in a glass. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Enjoy in moderation. Cheers!