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In recent months, Inra scientists received state authorisation to grow four varieties of resistant grape called Araban, Floreal, Voltis and Vidoc which will lead to wine bottled by 2020.

French wine scientists have come up with four revolutionary supergrape varieties they say are impervious to rot and thus require almost no pesticides.

But purists have warned that the lab-grown creations, which mix grape genes from around the world, could lead to dumbed-down, low-grade “Frankenstein” wine for future generations.

The experience reminded me how much pleasure I get from an unexpected wine discovery, and how many surprises New Zealand always seems to deliver.

‘The speed of change in New Zealand wine leaves me breathless,’ writes Elin McCoy after visiting the country for tastings earlier this year.

Just before the annual Central Otago Pinot Noir festival in January, I was dutifully working my way through an Air New Zealand tasting in a boring hotel conference room in Queenstown, when I was bowled over by a sparkling wine I’d never heard of before.

Nomadica, based in Los Angeles, sells canned wines from all over the world. Photo: Saksham Gangwar

Nomadica is trying to change the wine industry with convenient, high-quality varietals.

Emma Toshack always enjoyed having some wine when she went to the beach or the pool behind her Los Angeles apartment building, but glass containers and public consumption of alcohol weren't permitted.

Vines and Vineyard near Topsham Devon England UK. Photo: petert2

We have grown used to sparkling wines from England winning awards, but there are plenty of others to celebrate, too. Here are three of the best:

The vineyards are located just below the Meili mountain in the northwest corner of Yunnan province. Photo: Ao Yun

The first time I tasted the 2014 Ao Yun red wine blind, it was at a small dinner where it was served among many impressive wines – 1986 Chateau Clerc Milon, 2008 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia, 2014 Sena and 2007 Domaine Leroy Clos de Vougeot.