Many folk think of Rioja as an old fashioned style that's not cool enough for the ‘yoof’ of today but those shoppers are missing out on one of life’s great pleasures and an easy way to impress friends. Yeah, Rioja is from the old world but there's a reason the New World winemakers keep trying to copy it, usually with limited success.

Rioja is a cool dude with soft, quite laid back fruit and if like me, you focus on the reservas or Gran reservas, the oak imparts a sophisticated toasty and sometimes chocolate finish that marries so well with the cherry fruit flavours at the start. Yeah, there are a few versions with lively ripe fruits flavours at the younger cheaper end and they might make a good introduction to the style, but the really classy stuff needs a couple of years in wood.

It’s also a cracking food wine as the relaxed tannins pair up really well with a wide variety of dishes from steak right across to the Cauliflower and Broccoli bake Mrs R set in front of me last week. It's got that sort of, ‘you hum it, I’ll play it’ style in its easy going way. The effect of opening a bottle for friends is much the same as asking Alexa to play a selection of Sinatra songs as your guests arrive; so as lockdown eases and indoor dining starts again, go retro, play it cool and ‘do it my way’!

Izadi Reserva Rioja

Quite an aromatic Rioja, especially for a Reserva with cherries and warm plums on the nose leading into a palate of pure heaven. Toasty vanilla with gentle spices and ever so soft tannins. Ideal with a wide variety of dishes so it’s the ideal wine for a dinner party. This is a lot of wine for the price. £17.00

Bodegas Olarra ‘Dehasa de Lantana’ Rioja Reserva

Wow, the names a mouthful but thankfully so is the wine. Slightly sweet cherry fruits and a charred oak finish. Majestic recommends this with Lamb chops but I tried it with a medium steak on a barbeque and it was quite sublime.

Majestic £9.99 or £8.99 mixed six