Wine-lovers could have drunk more than they bargained for over the holiday season, as a new study has lifted the lid on the accuracy of wine labels.
And guess what? A lot of wines are actually more alcoholic than their labels let on.
A study of over 100,000 bottles of wine by researchers at the University of California, Davis found that 60% of bottles had more alcohol content than stated on the label.
This might seem like you're getting more bang for your buck, however researchers say it is particularly dangerous as it can put drinkers over the driving limit and could affect their health in the long-run.
Researchers studied 127,406 samples of wine from across the world, including 80,421 types of red wine and 46,985 types of white wine.
They found that the alcohol content of 60% of the bottles was, on average, 0.42% higher than what was stated on the label.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Wine Economics, said: "Errors of this magnitude could lead consumers to underestimate the amount of alcohol they have consumed in ways that could have some consequences for their health and driving safety."
It also suggested that in some cases, these discrepancies could be much larger.
Spanish and Chilean wines were the worst offenders for being more alcoholic than their label stated.
Researchers said wine manufacturers are aware of the inaccuracy but said they alter the alcohol percentage to meet customers’ expectations of how strong a bottle of alcohol should be, the Telegraph reported.
You can't just pay for your booze like a normal person at Vagabond - they have some sort of wanky top-up card (one waitress said: 'it's like an Oyster card payment system' - we still don't get it). But that aside, the 'system' allows you to try some pretty topnotch and unexpected wines. It means that you will probably spend quite a bit, but you'll be able to try quite a good range and breadth of wines that you wouldn't in a normal wine bar. Address: 25 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RW vagabondwines.co.uk
Ask anyone to recommend a wine bar in London and chances are Gordon's will be one of the first names they list. Established in 1890 and thought to be the oldest wine bar in London, it has had quite some time to build up it's glowing reputation - one that has certainly stood the test of years. It is easy to lose track of the time of day as you browse the extensive wine list in this cellar below a building in which Rudyard Kipling once lived- but if you feel in need of a glimpse of daylight (or moonlight) you can swap your candlelit table for one outside on the Watergate Walk. A word of warning, it can get very busy, especially on Friday nights when the place is packed to the rafters, and with only one area (The Cage) that can be booked - you need to plan ahead if you want to get a reservation, (at the time of writing The Cage was fully booked for the coming month and a half). Prices range from £4.20 for a schooner of Sherry served from the barrel, to £58.50 for a bottle of Corton Grand Cru Domaine Latour. Don't know where to begin? The extensive menu contains a host of detailed tasting notes to guide your decision and of course a cheese board is obligatory! Address: 47 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NE www.gordonswinebar.com
The latest branch of Vinoteca to open is where those in the know go if they fancy a glass of wine in a relaxed setting before hopping on the Eurostar, but don't want to pay the earth. Set in the glass fronted development in the revamped area across from the King's Cross' Eurostar entrance isn't the most characterful of settings, however, the extensive wine list (285 are on offer), impressive food menu and value for money can't be sniffed at. The fixed price lunch menu is a real gem for the thrifty-minded, with two courses for £12.95 and three for £15.95, and from the evening menu the Marinated Bavette comes highly recommended. The menu lists wines that have been expertly matched to the dishes on offer, but if you fancy going off piste the knowledgable staff are on hand to regale you with an encyclopaedic knowledge of their selection - did we mention there are 285 wines to choose from? Address: 3 King's Boulevard, N1 www.vinoteca.co.uk
Although there are ones in Spitalfields and Leadenhall Market, you can't beat the atmosphere at the Bedales wine bar in Borough market. When you get too tired from haggling cheese/chicken/salami prices, it provides a much-needed respite, superb charcuterie boards and a wine list that will knock your socks off. It's that great mix of French bistro meets wine bar, so it's not too stuffy and the staff are always great. Address: 5 Bedale St, London SE1 9AL www.bedaleswines.com
After Unwined spent three years doing pop-up wine bars throughout London, they now have a permanent wine shop, bar and kitchen in Tooting. Ask the barman for a recommendation and you won't be disappointed, especially if you give them a clue to what you normally like drinking. A glass of wine won't set you back too much either - they base their prices on the retail bottle's price plus £10 corkage, making a glass of wine around £4-7 and a bottle from £19-39. Based in Tooting Market, there's a lively atmosphere in the small yet intimate bar with smaller tables and chairs and a larger one for socialising. Choose from a range of unique nibbles to go with your drink such as Malaysian curry puffs or spicy peanuts. Address: 16A, Tooting Market, 21-23 Tooting High St, London SW17 0SN www.agrapenightin.co.uk/unwined/
Located minutes away from both Hoxton station and Columbia Road Flower Market, Sager & Wilde is one of East London's finest wine bars. The sleek, stripped down interior looks straight out of New York City, but their extensive wine list spans from France, to Iberia and way, way beyond. Their expertly selected, and ever-changing, wine list is available by the bottle or glass and can be accompanied by a delicious small plates menu - including some of the best cheese toasties Hackney has to offer. Take a seat, let the thick blinds shut out the world and let the knowledgable staff help you relax in style. Address: 193 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL www.sagerandwilde.com