coinsA new report shows that the nation’s 28 million regular wine drinkers are pouring themselves a glass an average of 9.5 times per month, down from the 11 times recorded three years ago. And since 2007 the average amount spent on a bottle of wine has risen by 29p from £4.69 to £4.98.

Although as Excise Duty as increased by 33p a bottle over the same period, the amount actually spent per bottle has fallen by 4p.

peopleFortunately for the wine industry, the fall in consumption has been offset by an increase in the UK regular wine drinking population (defined as adults drinking wine at least once a month), which has grown by 5 million since 2007, and now stands at almost 28 million adults.

The report’s author, the research group Wine Intelligence, found that wine drinking newcomers are less involved with wine although they do drink it regularly. Price and promotion had become increasingly important to UK consumers, and this was their main reason for buying a certain wine. Plus fewer consumers say a friend or family member's recommendation influences what they buy than was the case three years ago.

The detailed report doesn’t mention how much influence a wine columnist’s recommendations have with consumers. Which is a shame as now I can’t quote a nice statistic at you - so you’ll have to make up your own mind about the wines reviewed below. Just as you always do.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Tesco FianoVantage Point Hungarian Pinot Grigio
3 for £11 Co-op (down from £4.99 until September 28th)

Fruity flavours are both sharp and sweet at the same time. So to balance this you’ll need to match this wine with creamy chicken or pasta dishes.

Two Oceans South African Chenin Blanc
£3.99 Morrisons (down from £5.99 until October 3rd)

Grapefruit flavours with a buttery edge. Match with light curries.

Silver Rock Limited Release Bulgarian Chardonnay
£3.99 Co-op (down from £7.99 until September 28th)

It tastes just like pineapple upside down pudding, without the custard. Very slurpable.

£5.99 and under

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

Douglas Green South African Cabernet Sauvignon
£4.79 Morrisons (down from £5.99 until October 3rd)

Sweet blackberry and cherry flavours dissolved in a whopping 14% alcohol. Match with hearty stews or lamb and then zonk out on the sofa.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

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

Palastri Italian Primitivo
£8.99 Sainsbury’s

A complex and gluggable wine with blackcurrant jam flavours mixed with liquorice and chocolate.

De Grendel Winifred Viognier Semillon Chardonnay
£10.99 Oddbins

This blend of three white grape varieties results in creamy lemon and apple flavours with a green pepper edge. Enjoyable.

This article has appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on Mature Times