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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Avoid second cheapest syndrome when it comes to selecting wine in restaurants, urges Joanna Simon, as it is "invariably a poor-value plant for the unwary". Making the choice when dining out is something both men and women dread, she continues, although the latter group do so quietly. There are tricks, however, to ease the experience. "Take your time," Simon pleads, before advising us to "venture off piste" in the choice and - most importantly of all - "stand your ground" should it taste unpleasant or mouldy. As for her own selections this week, she plums for the 2005 Lirac, Domaine du Joncier (Waitrose, 5.99), the "zesty and grassy" 2006 Cheverny, Le Vieux Clos (Majestic, 6.49) and the "nutty" 2005 Fiano di Avellino, Guido Marsella (Burgundy Wines, 12.50).