2018 Côte de Brouilly, Les Grillés, Domaine Chevalier-Métrat, Beaujolais, France
£14.50, reduced to £12.95 each by the case, Lea & Sandeman, 020-7244 0522, leaandsandeman.co.uk
I love this outfit and I knew exactly what to expect as this wine approached my olfactory gear. I also knew I would approve of its flavour, too, but, of course, I never pre-judge. The surprise came when the aroma actually sought me out rather than the other way around. The next fillip was the buoyancy and purple-hued freshness, with energy and vitality flooding in from all angles, which should mirror the weather at this time of year and also lift our collective moods (and by golly we need that right now).
This beauty is a benchmark Côte de Brouilly, an epic Beaujolais Cru, one of the kings of wines, and yet it wears a tiny price tag for a creation with this level of gravitas and joy. This wine region should be front and centre of every wine collection right now because it is bargain-priced, drinking now and it goes with everything you are cooking in your kitchen!
And while you’re shopping with Lea & Sandeman, why not load up with the white equivalent of my ebullient red pick. 2018 L&S White Burgundy, Mâconnais, France ( £13.95, Lea & Sandeman) is a good, old, classic, infantryman white Burg, from the heart of the Mâconnais. Sourced from a wonderful plot of vines in Mâcon-Davayé, this is a stylish and gentle Chardonnay with enough zip to sip before you take your place at the table as well as enough mid-palate pizzazz to continue drinking with a perfectly roasted chicken or pan-fried Dover sole.
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)