Payten & Jones released a limited edition wine last year called Fxxx 20Twenty and I really wish they’d made a follow up for 2021 as well!

So without further ado, here’s to the things that have never let me down, like Merlot, Cabernet and Riesling,,, yes I did say Riesling!

Dealing with the latter first, when was the last time you had a bad one? I've got to say its years for me and even then it was at worst a tad too sugary but the fruit was there in abundance. In fact it always makes me laugh when folk say they don't like it too dry or too sweet but then you open a bottle with them and they love it, only to find it's their nemesis! Riesling is like that, especially the German ones with their labels written in Klingon. It's confusing to buy, but delicious to drink, especially chilled to the bone on a hot day or beside the fire.

Then again, the lord also gaveth Merlot and Cabernet, the two prince charmings of the red wine world. Merlot with all it’s ripe plummy fruit is almost impossible to dislike and to be honest, the winemaker has to be a right plonker to make a mess of it. Cabernet on the other hand is richer, slightly firmer but equally as juicy but you do have to tread slightly more carefully as poorly made Cab can often be thin and as charming as the tax man.

Anyway, It's Christmas so forget the bad news and just eat, drink and be merry folks.

Fxxx 20Twenty Mataro, Australia

Like all Payten & Jones creations, this one needs a wee bit of breathing but its well worth the effort. Plenty of earthy red fruits with a spicy finish.

Pullthecork.co.uk £22.99

Longview Devils Elbow Cabernet, Australia

Almost the quintessential Cabernet style with a light aromatic nose leading into a velvety palate of blackcurrant fruits and a toasted vanilla finish. Quite delicious

Oddbins £18.50

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