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September 29, 2020

Your blogger has, at times, been thoroughly confused by booze but a recent survey by Aldi has uncovered large gaps in our collective wine wisdom.

Despite the fact that 39% of Brits are self-proclaimed wine aficionados, just under 20% wrongly thought that hanging a silver spoon in the neck of an opened Champagne bottle would preserve the bubbles.

Another 12% reckoned that fortified wine would stay in decent nick for a year after opening. However, anyone who is thinking of dusting down that half empty bottle of port from last Christmas should think again.

If kept in a cool, dark space, fortified wines will last a respectable month or two before they are past their best but they are not immortal.

Pint of ABBA, please

We are equally as clueless about other drinks. An incredible one in 20 of the people surveyed thought that ABBA is a type of beer and 9% imagine that gin can deter mosquitoes.

Perhaps it can. If you drown them in it.

One in 20 of us apparently think that a glass of wine counts as one of our five-a-day. Much as I wish this was true, regrettably it is not.

Another fallacy which we wish was true is the old saw that 'beer before wine, you will feel fine'.

In fact, the order in which you consume your drinks has no effect on your hangover. Drink too much and you will feel ropey - no matter what order you choose to mix your cider, tequila and MD 20/20.

A couple of good tips did emerge from the survey. As most people know, white wine is best chilled and room service is best at room temperature.

In general, that's true. There are a couple of useful exceptions if anyone is feeling maverick.

Chill that red

Sam Caporn, Aldi's Mistress of Wine (!) says:

'The general rule when it comes to serving is that whites and sparkling should be served chilled and reds at room temperature.

However, a great trick for those warmer months where "room temperature" becomes slightly less bearable is to try popping your reds in the fridge! Not convinced? Start with lighter styles such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir by placing them in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving and get ready for an extra refreshing treat that evening.  

'White wines can often be served a bit chilly too when straight from the fridge, meaning it can mute the aromas in the wine. Take them OUT of the fridge 20 minutes before serving; for reds, pop them IN 20 minutes before for opening.'

Tasty Big Deals on Beers, Wines & Spirits

The Germans know a thing or two about brewing beer.

The Germans know a thing or two about brewing beer.

The 5pm blog has a top tip of its own: check out our wide range of Big Deals on beers, wines and spirits.

Among others, we have:

20 bottles of assorted German beers for £45

Pickering's Gin & Tonic Survival Kit for £31.99

Case of 12 Bottles of Spanish Red Wine for £59.99

If you are thinking ahead, many of these would be ideal for - lowers voice - Christmas.

Chin chin!