I was going to write about Claret this week but it just felt too serious given the outbreak of coronavirus. In the end, I got out my box set of Porridge and started my search for the perfect not-too-serious wine to share with Fletch and Godba. First on my list were the fabulously fruity wines made by 19 Crimes, a Company named after the 19 different offences that could result in a convicted person being transported to the colonies.

My personal favourite, The Uprising. This gorgeous Shiraz is aged in old rum barrels and has a lovely smoky finish to its whopping alcohol level.

Another obvious choice is The Derange Red blend from the Prisoner Wine Company in the Sonoma Valley. This thing just explodes with blackcurrant fruits and lashings of vanilla on the finish. You need to visit the Wine Company or purchase by mail order but, crikey, it’s well worth the wait.

A cracking contender would be the Judge claret blend from Hester Creek Vineyard in British Columbia. A

friend allowed me to try his precious bottle a week or so ago and I was smitten. It reminded me of a wonderful Leoville Barton, with ripe, dark cherries, chewy fruits and a side order of mint on the finish. I’m not sure what Fletch would make of celebrating a judge, though.

In the end, I decided the perfect wine to enjoy alongside an evening of Porridge was the Police Synchronicity red from The Wines that Rock. It’s a big, Grenache-dominated wine with a bit more on the nose than the palate. But try this with crumbly cheese and you will soon forget the judge’s last words – “take him down”.

Double Trouble Shiraz Cabernet,

Barossa Boy

Cocoa and raspberry on the nose with masses of ripe blackcurrant flavours on the palate. There’s a hint of spice and mint as well and a toasty finish. It’s definitely no trouble to enjoy this.

Corney & Barrow £18.95

19 Crimes, The Uprising, Australia

Ripe Aussie Shiraz aged in rum casks leading to a palate dominated by soft almost sweet black fruits and a rather seductive smoky finish.

Simply Wines Direct £9.99