Asda Wine Buyer Ed Betts blogs about the perils of choosing the perfect wine to take to a friend's house.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Chardonnay and why it was worth revisiting. I was chatting to my friend about it, trying to persuade her to give it a go. My friend is a die-hard Pinot Grigio fan – in fact she’ll only drink Pinot Grigio – so she challenged me to come up with an alternative she’ll love just as much if not more than her usual wine.

It got me thinking about the difficulty in choosing the perfect wine to take to your friend’s house. It’s an area full of uncertainties: What food will there be; how much should I spend? Worse still, what if they’re a wine expert or have very particular tastes!

It’s tempting for me to go into a list of food and wine matching which is an area I find fascinating but that’s probably information overload if you're just popping round for a social drink!

What I’ve found is that it’s great to have a go-to wine that is guaranteed to be a good all-rounder. A wine that can go with food or is just as enjoyable on its own.

Which is why I’m planning to take the Wine Atlas Cococciola to my friend’s the next time I visit - it’s a great all-rounder and the perfect alternative to Pinot Grigio. It's made from an Italian white grape grown in Abruzzo on the east coast of Southern Italy – traditionally it was used in blending but now it's creating really good wines in its own right.

It’s easy to be taken in when you try a wine out at the wineries as most things taste good surrounded by vineyards. However I tried this for the first time on a wet Wednesday in Leeds and if a wine can taste good then, you know it's good!

This is a lovely fresh lemony dry wine and very refreshing. Plus the label looks great. And it’s not just me who likes it, it won a Bronze medal in the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards competition.

I only hope my friend is equally impressed!