Deciding what wine to drink in a restaurant is a major headache for most people, as just one in eight of us (12.4 per cent), are confident about it, a survey has revealed.

More than a quarter pass the buck to friends rather than risk making a mistake and only a fifth would ask the advice of the waiter, according to the French Wines with Style report.

French wine is the most popular choice when dining out. Nearly a quarter pick it. Australia (18.6 per cent) and Italy (13.4 per cent) are runners-up, the Daily Express reported.

“People can often be overwhelmed when looking at a wine list. It is important not to feel intimidated. If you are confused or uncertain about which wine to choose, then take advantage of the help to hand. The waiter or sommelier is there to help,” reigning world champion sommelier Gerard Basset said.

Match light foods with light or medium wines, heavy dishes with heavier wines and spicy food with aromatic wine, he suggested.

Read the tasting notes and pick a price bracket to narrow choices, he said.

Finally, check out wines by the glass on offer which is often best when people choose very different dishes.