dog asleepOpening a bottle of wine and then drinking its contents should be an enjoyable experience. But if instead of inviting fruity aromas wafting out of the bottle you're met with a disgusting smell of wet woollen blanket or damp dog then the wine is not fit to drink and is said to be 'corked'.

supermarket wine aisleA bacterial infection called TCA (trichloroanisole) has passed from an improperly sterilised cork into the wine. The wine industry admits that between one and twelve bottles in a hundred suffer from this complaint. Only a traditional cork made from tree bark can lead to TCA taint, if your bottle has a plastic cork or a screw cap then the wine may still taste horrible but it won't be because of TCA. Wine stored in too warm a place will lose its fruit flavours and turn cardboardy.

If the wine in your glass smells foul then don't pour it away, put it back into the bottle and return it to the shop where you bought it. Supermarkets and wine chains are usually more than happy to offer a refund or a replacement for a less than perfect bottle of wine.

Root 1 CarmenerePG Wine Reviews

Sous le Soleil du Midi French Chardonnay 2015

£5.99 Waitrose

A really nice and reasonably priced white that tastes of tinned fruit salad on opening but opens out into orange blossom. Fragrant and quaffable.

Ormarine French white Picpoul de Pinet 2015

£6 Sainsbury's (down from £8 until July 19)

Picpoul wine have become fashionable so while that fad lasts you'll find it in all the supermarkets. This creamy apple version makes a good summer plonk.

French Cahors Malbec 2014

£6 Budgens

I went along to my local Co-op to find it had been turned into a Budgens instead – and came out with this little number. Smooth black cherry flavours.

Truly Irresistible Explorers New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2015

£6.99 Co-op

Come on Co-op you can do better than the awful label on this really nice wine – which seems designed to put you off. Look past this to the smooth melon and gooseberriness inside.

Root: 1 Chilean Carmenere 2014

£8 Morrisons

A nice red with creamy blackcurrant and violet flavours along with a bit of cake spice.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on