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Here's why ordering the cheapest wine on the list is actually a good idea

Harper's Bazaar logo Harper's Bazaar Katie Jones

Here's why ordering the cheapest wine on the list is actually a good idea © Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson in 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' 2008, Rex Features Here's why ordering the cheapest wine on the list is actually a good idea Following recent reports that wine could be about to get a lot more expensive thanks to Brexit, this piece of advice couldn't have come at a better time.

A top sommelier has warned that ordering the second- or third-cheapest wine from the list can be a big mistake, as some restaurants may have altered their menu to take advantage of their clients.

In his book How to Drink Like a Billionaire, Mark Oldman writes that those in the industry are aware of a common thought process that leads to customers choosing a pricier option to avoid looking cheap, Business Insider reports.

"Knowing that it will sell swiftly, [the sommelier] may have slotted an overstocked bottle into the position on the list," Oldman explains. "Even worse, they may have marked up this wine more than any other, making it potentially the worst value on the list."

With this in mind, "you are better served to order the cheapest wine, which diners often neglect out of fear or embarrassment and thus is often better value," Oldman adds.

His only word of caution? "Just make sure you do so at a restaurant that cares about its wine, where even modestly prices wines are of admirable quality."

This isn't the first time the house wine has been tipped to be the best option. Last autumn, the restaurant reviewer Jay Rayner told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival they should buy "the cheapest bottle on the list" to combat the snobbery of wine experts.

"I refuse to be intimidated by a wine list," Rayner told the crowd. "Wine lists are fraught with problems but mostly because of the b------- spouted by wine connoisseurs. They irritate me profoundly."

So, apparently there's no need to feel embarrassed about choosing the cheapest wine on a restaurant menu any more.

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