the forum

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e-mail:

Q Which critic has the most influence on wine sales today?

A None of them.

Jilly and Oz on Food & Drink

had the power to influence sales, but since that programme was axed nobody has come close.

Bill, Strathclyde

A Henry Jolly. I doubt you've heard of him - because he doesn't exist. All the tasting notes we put on our shelves are attributed to this fictional critic.

A few

regulars are in on the joke - the others never query the name,

assuming he's some big shot in the wine media!

CH, northern England

Q Are wine stoppers a complete waste of time? If so, shall I stop selling them?

A Yes. Yes.

Dave, London

A They do little to preserve the wine, but they at least keep fruit flies and other foreign bodies out. They also

attract a decent mark-up.

Julie, East Sussex

Q Playing back the footage on my state-of-the-art CCTV system I notice that a young lady has flashed her breasts to the camera. Anyone else got weird incidents on film?

A I captured a n incident in which a boy who was refused service for clearly being under-age politely said goodbye and left the shop without swearing, grabbing some crisps or kicking over a floor stack.

Hugh, Middx

Q How

can I persuade my poxy clientele that fino sherry is gorgeous and fortified British wine disgusting, and not vice versa?

Clive, West Yorks

Q My website has had 103 hits in three months. I set the counter at 100 when I launched it. I am responsible for two of these hits and I have no idea who the third person is. Anyone got a less popular website?

Andy, Devon

QWhy not beer over ice?

SK, Bradford