In the incestuous world of the grape vine, one in particular stands out for me and if DNA is correct then it’s the illustrious part parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenere, which are in turn three of my favourite food groups. The promiscuous breeder itself is of course Cabernet Franc, a variety for many years, hidden in famous claret blends or bottled as a single although unidentified varietal in the Loire valley. In Bordeaux, it adds finesse to its more robust offspring and on occasion, depending on the blend, that classic aroma of tobacco and cigar boxes.

The last decade or so have seen more vineyards around the world experimenting with it as a single varietal and that's just perfect for me as I love the grape. In the main, on the occasions I can't afford a decent claret, I tend to aim for the big ripe new world versions such as Leconfields rather stunning example from the Coonawarra or the silky and very classy version by Warwick in South Africa. If you want something with a bit more weight and chewy tannins, try one of the Argentinians such as Humberto Canales Selección de Familia or the big lad from the boys and girls in the Garage Wine co in Chile. Flavours aside though, one of the reasons I love the grape is its easy affinity with such a wide range of foods. Basically you have to be a muppet to get it wrong with Cabernet Franc because it pairs well with steak, chicken, port, lamb, fish, cheese and pot noodles.

La Tunella Cabernet Franc, Italy

Aromatic with ripe morello cherries on the nose leading into a soft, refreshing palate of autumn fruits and a slightly herby finish. A delightfully refreshing red for the summer that pairs exceptionally well with lamb or mushroom-based vegetarian dishes.

Corney & Barrow £12.95

La Reserve de Leoville Barton 2016

Smoky blackcurrant fruits and pencil shavings on the nose with firm tannins, rich juicy red currants and toasty vanilla on the palate. A really fabulous claret.

Majestic Wines £36.99

Gerard Richardson