Wine is great with cooking. I was making beef, mushroom and red wine pie and the recipe called for a half litre of red wine. Cabernet is the ideal choice for cooking as it has the body and depth without the awkward extras like spice and peppers.

Cabernet like all grapes comes into its own in a hot climate, so it’s easy to understand why the Aussies became so good at making it. Out went the excessive tannins that gave your tongue that morning after texture and in came juicy ripe blackcurrants, violets, hints of mint and, best of all, virtually no rough edges or bad vintages.

My favourites come from the Coonawarra region which has been surprising the wine world with the quality of its Cabs since the early 1980s. They offer the full range of styles from cheap and very cheerful ready to drink wines right up to the big bruisers with their super-concentrated old vine fruits barely restrained by ageing in new French Oak barrels, or wine handcuffs as I like to call them. Just don’t search for wine handcuffs online unless you have a very broad mind and a penchant for fluffy pink toys.

The Margaret River region in the west also produces a classic cabernet but after many years of careful experimentation, I think I prefer their versions blended with merlot to create a more obvious Bordeaux-style wine.

Ring Bolt Cabernet, Margaret River

Inviting violet and herb aromas lead into a palate full of cassis, chocolate and warm cherries. Absolutely gorgeous and great value for money

Tesco £10

Winemakers Selection,

Coonawarra Cabernet

A soft, juicy nose with heaps of warm blackcurrants on the palate. I like to be surprised and this one did that, well done Lidl.

Lidl £5.99