I TOOK a bottle of Cot home the other day to share with a friend and his reaction got me thinking about the subject matter for this week's column, so here’s to wines and blends you may not have come across.

Yes, by the way, I did say Cot and it was gorgeous but before anyone thinks the cheese has finally slid off my toastie, let me ease your mind: Cot for all intent and purpose is Malbec. Cot was the original name for the grape and it’s still referred to as such in parts of France and South America.

Another current favourite of mine is the top-end blend of Pinot Noir and Malbec called ‘S’ produced by Familia Shroeder. It's a crazy blend, to be honest, a bit like trying to explain to your friends why you bought a Reliant Robin as your second car when your first is a Mustang. Yet it works. In fact, it’s way better than functional, it’s wine dominated by vanilla, chocolate and rich, smooth fruits.

It’s been a week of unusual blends for me because last Tuesday I had a surprise visit from Terry Chellappah, the founder of Plan B vineyard in Australia. He makes one of the finest Rioja style wines I've ever come across but he does it by adding a dash of Viognier to the Tempranillo. Crazy, wacky and very much out of the box but by 'eck does it work.

Another of his fab creations is the Modern red which throws Pinot Noir and Shiraz together, which is a bit like the lady of the manor having an affair with the gardener’s apprentice.

The point I'm trying to make is that it appears opposites really do attract so it’s time to throw off your reservations and raise a glass to the weird wines of the world.

Brash Higgins, CINS Cinsault, Australia

Cinsault is never an easy sell after decades of the French producing thin, harsh examples but this one is an absolute delight and a real find. Cherries, orange and spice on the nose with vibrant, lively fruits and hints of ginger on the palate. An excellent partner to Chinese dishes.

Villeneuve Wines, £20

Perez Cruz, Cot, Limited Edition, Chile

A stunning wine for the price with cherries and warm plums combining with a hint of vanilla. The palate is powerful but incredibly smooth.

Virgin Wines £15.99