Q. I have builders in at the moment. They are very good and fortunately the only cracks I have seen have not been in the plasterwork. I'd love to invite them to stay for dinner when the construction is finished. What wine should I buy? Ann C, Jericho A. How lucky you are to find excellent workmen. Most people just offer tea and coffee; I think it's a great idea to invite them over for a meal.

In fact, consider inviting their families or girlfriends so that they can also admire the good work these boys do. Not only will it ensure they do their very best, but if a specific date is discussed, it might keep them on track and prevent building works from dragging on.

Talking to my local contractors, Darren Andrews, Livingstone Jones and Alan Cox, above, lager seems to be the beverage of choice for the out of hours crew. However, one of them does prefer Earl Grey tea.

You will need a full-bodied wine to satisfy these hard working men. No trendy rosé for this bunch. I am going to recommend a Largesse, Shiraz, Vin de Pays D'Oc, 2006.

The colour is a deep inky red. The bouquet is a bit lighter. It has hints of liquorice with soft black raspberry undertones - the taste starts off a bit subtle, and then opens up in your mouth.

It tastes of Southern France with warm spices. It is succulent and rich and has a long smooth finish that is nicely balanced between leaving you wanting more and knocking you off your feet.

Contrary to most lengthy Shiraz, it won't leave you puckering. Which is good, because the last thing you want to do is pucker up with your builders.

Largesse Shiraz is made from the Syrah grape in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It has a Stelvin closure, which is just a fancy way of saying screw cap, so you won't need a bottle opener, drill or hammer to get into it.

This wine would go with anything from pizza to barbecue ribs. As long as there is plenty of it, your builders should be happy.

You can pick up Largesse Shiraz Vin de Pays D'Oc at the Summertown Wine Café for £7.95 (£6.95 if you are a member.) To find the answer to your grape issues, write to whinecolumn@nqo.com