DON’T you just love the magic of wine. I always admire people who invent things but, seriously, who on earth would come up with the idea of fermenting grapes, and why on the first occasion they tried were they were not put off by the bubbling smelly cauldron in the vat?

I guess it must have been invented though because how in god's name would you stumble on that by accident, although there have been instances where monkeys in the wild have got themselves wasted on fermented fallen fruits.

The magic doesn’t end there though because somehow, out of the several thousand varieties of grapes, man stumbled on the dozen or so capable of making good wine and then, at some point in what must have been an enlightened time, a winemaker had the idea of ageing it in an oak barrel.

With every magic show, however, there's always a grand finale and for me, the real trick with wine is the art of blending. It’s likely that blending first happened because of a shortage of grapes but over the years, winemakers have created gems and papered over poor vintages by mastering the art.

For me, however, the winemakers who stand out are the likes of Jorge Coderch, one of Valdevieso’s winemakers, who dreamt up the idea for Caballo Loco. This was a standout moment for South American wines because the concept was so different – let’s face it no one else was gambling with a non-vintage solera-based fine wine. Jorge’s risk-taking and skills as a blender paid off and Valdivieso invented a fine wine pretty much unique to Chile.

Grounded Cru GSM, Australia

Juicy ripe blackcurrant flavours with hints of cocoa and spice. A superbly crafted Rhone-style blend that’s as comfortable with a stew as it is with a block of cheese.

Oddbins £16.50

Les Closiers Chateauneuf Du Pape 2016

Chateauneuf is blending on steroids with up to 18 varieties allowed in each wine. This one is quite lovely with a soft smooth palate of spicy autumn fruits but it does need rich foods to be at its best. Don't waste this on a packet of crisps, folks.

Marks & Spencers £21

Gerard Richardson