We wanted to share some of Jancis's exclusive wine recommendations. We have some safe bets, some more expensive wines to splash out on and some new varieties you might not have tried before.

Please do feel free to share this blog with friends.

White wine safe bets:

  • New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chablis is loved for its freshness.
  • Mâcon Blanc / Pouilly Fuissé are soft and round without being sweet and heavy. Made with Chardonnay.
  • Everybody seems to love Pinot Grigio, but can be of variable quality, particularly commercial wines.

Red wine safe bets:

  • Beaujolais from the villages of Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon & Moulin-à-Vent.
  • New Zealand Pinot Noir is very approachable at a good price.
  • Rioja tends to be soft, gentle and mellow.
  • Côtes du Rhône is fuller and spicier like a good Australian Shiraz.
  • Spanish Garnacha is a good value Cote du Rhone alternative.

Splashing out:

  • White Burgundy & Red Bordeaux are the classics, but can be very expensive and not necessarily great value.
  • Barolo & Barbaresco reds from Italy can be more reliable and consistently fine - typically artisanal and make great presents.
  • Champagne can vary enormously, but the three gold standards for gift giving are Dom Pérignon, Cristal & Krug.

Expanding your horizons:

  • If you like Sauvignon Blanc, try the new dry Rieslings. Bone dry and not sweet.
  • If you like White Burgundy but find it too expensive, try Chablis which tends to be better value. Also try Godello from the far north west of Spain.
  • If you like an oaked Chardonnay try Viognier which should be drunk quite young or a Sémillon.
  • If you normally drink Moscato, try Gewurztraminer. Fragrant and distinctive.
  • If you like Merlot, definitely try Malbec. Particularly, but not exclusively Argentine.
  • If you’re a fan of Syrah, try its Australian alternative Shiraz or Mencía from north-west Spain.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is the gold standard most travelled red wine, but Aglianico from southern Italy is similarly structured and makes a great wine to be aged. Or a serious dry Zinfandel from California in particular.
  • If you like Pinot Noir, it’s always worth trying out a top quality Beaujolais from the hinterlands around Lyon instead.
  • If you are a fan of Pinot Grigio, give Muscadet a try.

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