Alcohol is still linked to cancer, high blood pressure and other types of strokes / instants/iStock

Some advice from a sommelier for anyone who has stood dumb-founded in the drinks aisle... 

A wine expert has revealed her top tips for buying high-quality wine without breaking the bank. 

For those of us who are far from being seasoned sommeliers, browsing the wine aisle at the supermarket can be a daunting experience.

But Amanda Smeltz, head sommelier at Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud in New York City has given her assurance that the process of selecting a wine that is good value for money isn’t actually that complex.

Her first tip is to not judge a wine bottle by its label. 

“If it's got a really cool, jazzy-looking label you should probably avoid it,” Smeltz told Thrillist.

She argued that elaborate marketing can be used to mask a “bland product”. 

Secondly, she advised confused shoppers to look for tipples from regions that are they might not have heard of. 

“Steer for the stuff that looks confusing and scary,” she said, as this doesn’t necessarily mean it is lower quality.

She also recommended looking out for wine from Southern Italy – an area with a wine culture that has been largely forgotten due to economic depression.

Other tricks include choosing grape varieties usually used for popular wines in lesser known drinks. For instance, fans of chianti should look out for sangiovese grapes. It is also handy to remember the alternate names of varieties: such as shiraz which is the same as syrah.

Her advice follows warnings that the Brexit vote could cause a spike in the cost of wine.

Rowan Gormley, the chief of wine retailer Majestic recently said that the industry must contend with a weak pound which has made importing wine grapes more expensive. 

It is “simply a matter of time” before prices are raised, he warned.

Comments