red grapesSurveys issued as press releases must always be treated with caution. So when a new one arrived in my inbox I got straight back on to the Co-op, who wanted to impress on me that we are now a nation of wine buffs, and asked “So just how many people did you ask in this survey then?”. The answer was a bit of a surprise, 2000 (which is quite a lot when you realise that many so called surveys are based on a handful of people, who are often within sitting distance of the person who sent it). And it also turns out they're not just Co-op shoppers either, they were honest to goodness 'the general public'. So there's a good chance these survey results can actually tell us something useful about our nation's wine habits.

pound coinsAccording to the study, the average Brit spends £19 every week on wine (that equates to £988 a year). So when you add in the additional knowledge that the average Brit usually spends just over £5 on a bottle of wine, and that wine is more than likely to be bought at a supermarket, then we are looking at about three bottles of wine being purchased – and more than likely being consumed the week they were purchased (more survey results, but a different survey).

Which all sounds rather nice. But hang on, just how many people am I having to share these three bottles with? According to the latest Government statistics, the average number of people in a household these days is 2.4 people. So if everyone in the household likes their vino, that equates to 7.5 glasses per person per week (you get six standard measures of 125ml glasses of wine from each bottle).

pouring wineSo one and half glasses of wine per weekday, let's assume, with the weekend off – which is all very healthy as we are all being urged to have one or two teetotal days a week. (Okay so if both of the whole persons in the household are average then that's a lot more vino, but that's another bunch of calculations and assumptions so come back next week).

But hang on, those surveyed were prepared to pay up to £11 pounds on just one bottle of wine. It didn't say how often they were prepared to do this, but that's double the average usual spend.

And the £11 is being spent on what? Probably Prosecco (which emerged as being a favourite of 10 percent of the respondents, with bottle prices in the region of £6-£12) or a bottle of rosé (emerging as Brits favourite style of wine at 11 percent).

Now you can spend £11 on a bottle of rosé (last week's column suggested Esk Valley New Zealand Merlot Rosé 2015 at £10 from Wood Winters Wines and Whiskies) but there are many excellent cheaper ones out there (try Co-op Argentinean Fairtrade Malbec Rosé 2014 £5.49).

So are we a nation of 'wine buffs'? Well 88 per cent of the survey reckoned they were and a further 38 percent declared themselves 'extremely knowledgeable' about wine.

degree hatIt sounds like we are all in there somewhere doesn't it?

PG Wine Reviews

Tesco Finest French Côtes Catalanes Grenache 2014

£4.20 Tesco

Spicy black cherry pie filling.

Tesco French Côtes de Gascogne Blanc 2015

£4.50 Tesco

Bargain of the Week. Fab white wine blend that tastes of floral grapefruit and makes a really good aperitif or everyday white.

Arco Iris Chilean Merlot 2015

£6.99 Co-op

Cherry and dark chocolate.

Finca Las Moras Argentinean Pinot Grigio 2015

£6.99 Co-op

Refreshing fruity white.

Domaine Ferrandiere French Riesling 2015

£8.99 Majestic

Peach, lemon and honey flavours.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk