We all know Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling and the like, and most of us are familiar with regional terms like Bordeaux, Rioja, Chianti and the Rhone, but how comfortable are you with the lesser known wines?

It was only 30 odd years ago that Malbec would have been classed as a lesser known variety. In more recent decades, you could add Petit Syrah or Durif as it is also known. In truth, there are plenty of exciting options out there, many of them hiding in plain sight in blends, but quite a few of them are now available as single grape varieties.

Petit Verdot is one of the classic red grapes of Bordeaux where it's used very sparingly, but there are some absolutely gob-smacking single varietal versions these days, particularly from Spain and Australia. Then there's a red Georgian variety called Saperavi which is not only available from the vineyards of Georgia, but is now also vinified by Patritti vineyard in Australia. It's dark, inky, complex and well worth seeking out, especially if you love pairing wine with cheese.

There are exciting lesser known varieties in white as well, especially the Rhone and southern French blenders such as Roussanne, Verdhello, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. Lets face it, many of us still think opening a viognier or semillon is adventurous but they’ve been around the block for decades.

So, how about making 2022 the year you cast off your vineous inhibitions and try something new and exciting. Rest assured, Merlot and Chardonnay will still be there if you need a comfort blanket.

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Saperavi Tbilvino 2020

One of last year's stand-out wines for me. Almost Cabernet-like, with rich cassis flavours, liquorice and hints of cocoa. Make this your go-to wine for the first barbeque of the summer.

Georgianwinesociety.co.uk £12.99

Tahbilk, The Tower Marsanne 2019, Australia

If you like fresh refreshing Marlborough Sauvignons then you will adore this fabulous wine. It's packed with crisp grapefruit and apples and the finish is long and memorable. A cracking aperitif and a fabulous partner to any fish dish.

Majestic £12.99 per bottle or £9.99 mix six