Apparently I've upset some readers by not writing about red wines recently, so this column features one you can even chill to enjoy in the summer heat. Drumroll please,,,,,,, yes, its our old friend Merlot, my go to grape when I really can’t be bothered about anything and just want an old friend.

Yes, chilled Merlot is a thing, but select the country with care because they are not all created equal.

Anything with tannins such as the wines of South Africa or South America tend not to perform well from the fridge as the tannins can appear too sharp. Likewise, most of the new Zealand Merlot have a cool climate greenish edge to them that doesn’t lend itself to cool serve, but the latter may just be down to personal taste. So there it is, chill it away but do so lightly folks; Merlot isn’t like Riesling so don’t overdo the ice!

Smith & Wright Merlot, Australia

What can I say? Its a fluffy bunny of a red with a fruit basket full of uncomplicated fruit and a hint of vanilla on the finish. It pairs well with red meats and roasted vegetables. £5.99 mix six or £6.99 per bottle

Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot, California

A gorgeous inexpensive Merlot from California with spicy autumn fruits on a jammy palate. It pairs well with lamb, beef or rich vegetarian dishes and served lightly chilled its a cracking alternative aperitif wine. £13.99

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