WEEKS of tasting roses and whites have left me gagging for a plush velvety red so guess what I chose? Yeah, if you've read much of my drivel over the months, you will know that my go-to red is cabernet sauvignon but, as I also like curve balls, I've gone over to the dark side to look at the current batch from Chile.

Chile has arguably done for merlot what its neighbour Argentina has done for malbec so it’s easy to underestimate just how good the winemakers are with cabernet, the crown prince of red grapes. We should be looking for a dark, slightly broody wine with purplish tinges to the edge if it's young and slightly more towards brick red with a bit of bottle age.

The nose should be inviting and warm and the palate should have some or all of the following: cassis, warm autumn fruits, coffee, cocoa, hints of granny's old leather sofa and my favourite, cigar boxes.

Guess what, folks, I was delighted to find several of the above in a wide range from Chile at bargain prices so it’s time to do some lockdown travel from the Aussie shelves to South America, the new home of quality, value for money and memories of gran.

Exquisite Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

For the price, this is an absolutely gorgeous wine. Cherry, cassis and cranberry flavours with a lush warm palate, soft tannins and a hint of vanilla on the finish.

Aldi £5.99

Los Vascos Cabernet, Rothschild

A gorgeous wine and a long time favourite of mine. Made with old vine fruit, its rich in blueberries and plums and has soft, classy tannins. Delicious with roast beef.

Majestic £11.99 per bottle