I AM the wine buyer in our home.

On trips to the supermarket, I am the one who heads to the far side of the supermarket where lies the likes of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot.

I scour the labels to find one I like. Tonight’s tipple has a swan on the front - I usually go for animals and birds. I never read the blurb, whether it has overtones of blackberry or raspberry or will perfectly complement meat or fish.

I don’t care where it has come from and I ignore all the general guff about how it has been inspired by the landscape and how the vineyards have been in the same family for generations.

I do, however, look at the alcohol content and rarely buy one lower than 12.5 per cent.

Women are the main buyers of wine in the UK. Research found that 80 per cent of those leaving shops with wine were female, with almost a third being aged between 45 and 54.

Yet, says wine guru Jilly Goolden, when commenting on the survey, men assume they should know about wine and always grab the wine list in restaurants.

In my experience they are usually offered the list first as well. I’m more accustomed to restaurants which have a ‘drive-thru’ as opposed to a wine list, but recently my husband and I dined in an upmarket eaterie where, ignoring me, the waiter handed him the wine list.

He knows as much, if not less, than I do, and, after an awkward moment when he glanced in my direction and mumbled “red or white?”, he passed it over to me and I had no trouble in choosing the cheapest.

The research, for the Women’s Wine and Spirits Awards, also found that female wine buyers are not big spenders, with almost half (46 per cent) shelling out £6 or less on a bottle. A fifth of female buyers (18 per cent), spend less than £5 on average, while just one in 50 women (two per cent) spend an average of £10 or more on a bottle).

I usually go for bottles costing under £6. I have noticed that, if a shopper is craning up towards the expensive wines on the top shelves, they are usually male.

Men tend to be more likely to buy fine wines, says Goolden, and ‘are more vocal in discussing the trophy wines in their wine racks.’

Anyone who saw our wine rack could not fail but be impressed. In the garage between a lawn mower and a rusty freezer, its not-so-fine wines lie alongside bottles of antifreeze and screenwash - the latter probably tastes better than most.

My ‘trophy wine’ is a dusty bottle of Isla Nera Merlot won two years ago on a tombola at a village carnival.

My simplistic wine selection method would doubtless be pooh-poohed by so-called experts, but I recall a TV programme not long ago in which three wine connoisseurs were asked to choose what they believed was the most expensive and cheapest wine from a selection. On quite a few occasions, they picked out the less-than-a-fiver bottle as the most costly. It was interesting and raised a few shocked gasps among the tasters.

It does not always follow that paying more brings a better experience. I admit I have bought some duds, but I’ve also bought some wonderful wines for under £5.

Wine snobs, who revere certain vintages and vineyards, need to check out Aldi or Asda on a Saturday night. They could broaden their horizons and save a few bob.

While men pretend to be knowledgeable, as Goolden says, women “just get on with enjoying it.”