It’s finally time. Wines of the Year time, that is. Well, in fact, more than Wines of the Year. For the first time, I'm picking Snooth's Winery of the Year, Region of the Year, Vintage of the Year and Wines of the Year for 2010. I'll be revealing the winners throughout the week, so stay tuned to see who gets the gong for each category. First up, we have Vintage of the Year.

What the heck? Yes, in an effort to be fair about things, I’m proposing the seemingly redundant vintage of the year! While every year is a vintage, not every region may be blessed with ideal weather, and each year several different vintages hit the shelves depending on each region’s respective ageing regimens.

There are many options from which to choose this year and I have opted for one of the least obvious of the great vintages of the year. I have opted for a wine and region that I tend to not get too excited about, but in this vintage -- it’s 2009, by the way -- the wines have really impressed me with their power and precision.

I have opted for a vintage and a grape that is remarkably readily available, with wines that are almost all truly affordable and that are drinking well today and over the next two to five years. These are wines we can all afford to buy, and enjoy!

Want to know what I’m talking about? 

The winner of Snooth’s inaugural Vintage of the Year -- yes, this surprised even me – is…