"While we are familiar with the detrimental effects of alcohol on an empty stomach, we are now experiencing the much worse impact of alcohol on empty minds."

Roger Scruton

The Riesling is perhaps the most famous, ignored, abused, and misunderstood wine of all time, and probably the one we cut our alcoholic teeth from many years ago.

If you're like me, that first taste was probably a cheap piersman, or worse, a bottle of iceberg, but your first glass is always something special, and maybe Christmas is the time to revive an old romance.

Germany will always be the spiritual home of Riesling, but if complicated names and words that look like they've been removed from the Game of Thrones do not make your boat float, there are plenty of New World crackers to expect these days.

Germany is still the place to go if you want to explore the abundance of bone-dry styles, not to tell your dentist, but personally I'm not too far from the Mosel and Rheingau Cabinet.

I love the medium-sized style and the waxy, mouth-filling apple aromas with their wonderful ability to be everything for all men. These wines are served chilled to the bone and make a crunchy aperitif. At home, they also go with fish or light meat such as pork. I find that California and South America generally produce a similarly waxy wine, but on the palate, some of the complexity of their Germanic relatives is lacking, while South Africa should stay with Chenin or Chardonnay until they can produce a Riesling that does not smell like a paraffin lamp ,

If you like tropical fruits, the Rieslings from Australia and New Zealand are just the thing for you. The antipodes tend to put the word "dry" in front of the Riesling, but do not be fooled that they are something like the bone-dry wines of Alsace. So if you feel like nostalgia, Riesling is for you.

R3 Riesling, Moselle

A bit like the love child of Grand Cru Chablis and the finest Riesling in the world. Crunchy and steely with a lot of explosive ripe fruit on the palate.

Taylors Fine Wine £ 17.99

Exquisite Claire Valley Riesling, Australia

On the nose grapefruit and lime with a hint of tangerine on the palate. An excellent wine for the price.

Aldi £ 6.99