One of our biggest wine woes is making an expensive mistake.

You size up the label, the grape, the region and think you've bagged a decent bottle, only to find it falls short and not on a par with the price.

So how do you discover new varieties, bank on old favourites and sip something that really stands out from the crowd?

Pick an award-winning wine that's won a Decanter World Wine Award (DWWA), that's how.

The largest and most prestigious wine competition in the world, the Decanter judging panel is made up of 258 of the most respected wine experts, with one aim in mind - to award quality.

This year, more than 17,200 wines entered, a record number since the DWWA launched in 2004.

"This event sorts out the 'must buy' and the 'definitely try'... it's a shortcut for all of us to quality in every region and variety," says Sarah Jane Evans, MW (Master of Wine) and one of the three co-chairs for DWWA 2017.

"There are grape varieties that are really rare; regions that are very new; and plenty of favourites."

Not sure where to start? Hurry up (they may not be around for long) and taste these award-winning wines for yourself...

1. Platinum and Best in Category

Wiston Estate Cuvee Brut 2013, West Sussex, England (£32.95, www.wistonestate.com)

Croydon Guardian:

If you're a newcomer to home grown fizz, it's an exciting time for English wines.

We're winning more medals than ever before and this brilliant bubbly made from chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier (the same grapes as champagne) was not only awarded the highest accolade of a Platinum medal, but romped home with the Best UK Sparkling White.

So what are you waiting for... "With impressive depth, its filigree texture retains Wiston's signature precision and elegance, that gives more than a nod to French bone structure."

You heard it, straight from the judge's mouth.

2. Platinum: Best Value Australian White Single-Varietal

Yalumba, Eden Valley, Viognier, South Australia, 2016 (currently £9.99, reduced from £12.99, www.waitrose.com)

Croydon Guardian:

One of the virtues of viognier is this fragrant white makes a delightful change to chardonnay. Plump and peachy, but with perfumed aromas (as opposed to tropical) and the scented thrill of rose petals.

Expect 'toast, butter, peach and nectarine and subtle highlights of rose water which linger on the nose and palate. Really impressive, richly flavoured, but wonderfully balanced with a flow of white peach and ginger on the long finish'.

3. Platinum: Best Value New Zealand Red Bordeaux Varietals

M&S, Koha Merlot Cabernet Franc, 2015 (£11.50, Marks & Spencer, in-store)

Croydon Guardian:

Love a smooth merlot? Hawkes Bay is a dead cert for high-quality wines to swoon over. As the judges did... "Engaging and intriguing bouquet with aromas of dark plums and black fruits. Juicy hedgerow fruit on the palate, but with beautiful freshness. A vibrant and super elegant youthful wine."

4. Best Value Sauvignon Blanc

Russian Jack Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand (£10.99, www.majestic.co.uk)

Croydon Guardian:

Our favourite wine style, Brits drank a staggering 63 million bottles of Kiwi wine in 2016, a 16% increase on the previous year. And surprise, surprise, sauvignon blanc made up 85% of that total - so there's a huge amount of competition in the sauvignon blanc category, let alone the keen price point for 'best value' award.

Already a hit with Majestic customers, the judges described Russian Jack as "lively and appealing with striking purity and exceptional length".

5. Silver

Cimarosa Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Africa (£3.99, Lidl, in-store)

Croydon Guardian:

Impressively cheap, what's not to love about a smooth spicy red that costs less than a fiver, is a silver medal winner and was granted 91 points! Lidl won 19 Decanter awards for wines at various price points, but this won the top score for being "rounded and flavoursome with dark fruit and a dry, savoury finish".

6. Silver

Vin de Provence Rose 2016, France (£8.78, Asda, in-store)

Croydon Guardian:

Asda took away top awards this year for its own label wines and, thanks to the blazing sunshine in June, sales of its rose increased 26% in recent weeks.

And with the current trend for pale, fresh roses from Provence, there couldn't be a better time to indulge in some pink pleasure and uncork their silver rose medal winner.

"An elegant and floral nose with aromas of pink grapefruit and white flowers. On the palate it has refreshing acidity and bright red berry and citrus fruit." Quite so.