“Occasionally I have a glass of red wine. I don't consider it an alcoholic drink. I consider it a holy drink, something that can also be used as a curative.”

Novak Djokovic

I suddenly realised that in all these years, I've never written about the wines of one of my all-time favourite regions, the Haut Medoc. So let's correct that right now. The Haut Medoc is the workhorse of Bordeaux, France’s legendary wine region and perhaps the most copied style in the new world. The Haut Medoc is a classification on its own but it also encompasses some of the most famous sub-regions of the wine world, including Margaux, St Julien, St Estephe and my all time favourite, Pauillac. Studying the wines of the Haut Medoc has been a passion of mine for decades and, like all good students, I’m always happy to learn more, but in a nutshell, this is a condensed package of my acquired knowledge to date.

The wines are fabulous! Oh, you want more, okay then you flatterer, here's a wee bit more; Margaux produces some of the silkiest wines ever with lovely aromatics, a gentle texture and almost sweet fruit on the finish and if you ever have the chance to try Chateau Margaux, take it and give your palate one of the most sensual experiences ever.

The wines of St Julien are more robust and powerful, with rich tannins that help fill your palate with flavour. The region produces some of the finest wines I've ever tasted, particularly in poor vintage years. Ch Ducru Beaucaillou and Gruaud Larose have been particularly good friends of mine over the years but the best evenings I've ever had with wines from St Julien have involved the stunning but moderately expensive creations from Leoville Barton.

St Estephe produces smooth, fruity wines that I would describe as the fun side of Bordeaux, the type you will flirt with from time to time when you feel lonely or naughty, and they have several stunners that could lead anyone astray. My particular favourites are Ch Montrose and the awesome Cos d’Estournel, but for a treat that most of us can afford, have a look for Ch Lillian Ladouys and partner it with some mildly spicy food. Mmmmm!

That leaves us with Pauillac of course, but what a region to be left with. Dark, brooding, leathery and incredibly smooth wines with powerful but soft tannins and prices to make your eyes water. But seriously folks, this is the finest wine growing region in the world so you have to add it to your tasting experience. My favourites have to be the first growths of Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild but to be honest, I've never been disappointed with anything from the region and for a more affordable treat, try Chateau Batailley, Haut Bages Liberal or the gorgeous Chateau Pibran.

So, get your decanters and cheese boards out folks and revisit the Haut Medoc, after all the area was planted specifically to target the British Market in the 18th Century and it’s rarely disappointed since then.

Pip pip until next week.

Watford Observer:

Chateau Beaumont, Haut Medoc

A soft easy to enjoy claret with silky tannins and blackberry fruits. There's a lovely hint of cigar boxes on the finish which I love.

Berry Bros & Rudd £16

Moulin de Citran, Haut Medoc

Soft chewy fruit with hints of cherries and strawberry on the finish. A very affordable way to start your studies in Bordeaux!

Aldi £13.99