WAY back in the 17th century when the world was smaller, claret was the wine of the day, but then England had constant disputes with France and sought out the wines of Portugal, giving port the 18th century. The 19th definitely belongs to rioja as the wine of the moment and the 20th to Australian shiraz or perhaps New Zealand sauvignon.

The burning question then is which grape is going to lay claim to the 21st century and is it too early to make a call? I've never been a gambler but I do like the odd prediction, so the vineous nostradamus inside me is going to make the call and give the 21st century fairly and squarely to malbec. Yep, malbec, the former bad boy from France, famed for making wines as rough as a badger's undercarriage in the 20th century has definitely come of age, and not just from its new spiritual home in Argentina... although mostly from there.

In our health conscious times, malbec could even lay claim to being a healthy food product because its thick skins are stuffed full of antioxidants which doctor friends tell me are essential for cardiovascular health and good immune systems. That aside, though, the simple fact is they can be among the most delicious wines with rich robust fruit, juicy tannins and spicy finish. They really are delicious wines with rich food but you don't need a steak to enjoy them.

Andeluna Malbec, Argentina

A classic claret-style nose of violets with layers of juicy blackberry fruits. The palate is rich and exceptionally smooth and overall, I have to say that this wine has never let me down. In fact it represents incredible value.

Pop Wines Glasgow £13.50

Herencia Respeto Malbec, Argentina

What a gorgeous wine. Deep smooth blueberry fruits, soft ripe tannins and a really smooth delivery.

Oddbins £15

Gerard Richardson MBE

Columnist for Newsquest