Classical wines

treble clefVines just love Vivaldi, it seems. Italian scientists have discovered his music helps grow healthier vines. Relayed from an iPod to vines through 15 speakers, Vivaldi's music was found to have a positive effect on shoot growth.

Other classical composers also help the grapes grow: Sangiovese grapes growing near speakers playing Mozart, Haydn and Mahler had a greater number of leaves per vine than those growing in a silent area of the Tuscan vineyard Il Paradiso di Frassina.

Vineyard owner Carlo Cignozzi, a music lover who once serenaded grape pickers on his accordion, first noticed his vines seemed to mature faster under the influence of music in 2001.

vine leavesScientists from the University of Florence turned this observation into a scientific experiment by setting up speakers in front of young plants in wooden tubs and older plants in an isolated area of the estate. Shoots and tendrils were tested once a week for levels of plant growth. The results aren't conclusive yet, but the silent control pot-grown vines showed delayed development. Home grape growers take note.

If you want to get a taste of the theory then open a bottle of my recommended wines and turn up the volume.

PG Wine Tips

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Errazuriz Pinot NoirAzteca Mexican Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010

£4.49 Aldi

Tasting a Mexican wine is a first for me and this one interestingly tart – tart enough to get the taste buds going but with enough fruit flavour to stop it being overwhelming. Flavours of blackberry and tart blackcurrant/plum juice which turns to a rich muskiness once it’s been open 20 minutes.

Cuvée de Richard French Pays d’Aude 2011

£5.29 Majestic

An everyday fruity red with raspberry and sweet cherry flavours, plus a slight edge of burnt toast with sloe which helps balance the initial sweetness.

Co-op Italian Orvieto Classico 2011

£5.99 Co-op

Creamy almond and white rose aromas with flavours of light melon and a touch of pear. A light and fruity wine with enough oomph to stand up to lightly spiced dishes.

Viottolo Sicilian Nero d’Avola Shiraz 2011

£5.99 Spar

Cherry, chocolate and blackberry flavours but still light enough to match many dishes.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Gonzalez Byass Spanish Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2011

£7.99 Ocado

Refreshing flavours of zesty light pineapple and apple with extra cooked banana on the aftertaste. Nice.

Errazuriz Chilean Pinot Noir Reserva 2011

£9.99 Majestic (buy 2+ for £7.99)

Best served lightly chilled – that’s the wine not this awful English summer. Cherry, strawberry and vanilla flavours plus a bit of damson. Slurpable.