I hate clothes shopping — with a passion. Especially when faced with one of those sales assistants that tell you how great you look in everything, even when you know it is two sizes too big or small and makes you look like you got dressed in the dark.

Wine sellers are happily free from making any comment on your appearance and, unless specifically asked for, generally pass little comment on your purchases.

However, I have definitely noticed a change at Majestic wine stores. I do not know if it is a new policy but the (typically lovely) staff at the three branches that I have within striking distance have started saying the most annoying things when I get to the pay zone.

“Oh, great . . . you’ve got some pretty good stuff here,” uttered in a tone that suggests relief that I have dodged some real howlers on the shop floor, or surprise that a customer has identified something worth drinking.

More irritating still: “That [take your pick] is my absolute favourite in the shop.” Really? In fact, I was so irked that I felt the need to check this out by going back a few days later to be greeted by the same chipper soul who announced that some other wine in my trolley was “his all-time favourite”.

I understand that stores want to make us feel good about the wines we buy but please, spare me the triteness!

It also has the horrid effect of making me doubt the sincerity of the response to any advice I actively seek. A pity because, by and large, I have had very good advice at Majestic and have fond memories of the super young lad at one of the Reading branches whose eyes lit up when I asked if he had tried any of the Grüner Veltliner wines they had in store and he lovingly and knowledgeably talked me through them all.

I had obviously hit on a grape that he was passionate about and it showed.

He was also absolutely right; his descriptions were spot on.

So, please Majestic can we have more of the latter and less of the faux flattery. Meanwhile, here are some of the Majestic (www.majestic.co.uk) wines I have tried recently and which have genuinely impressed.

Southbank Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010, New Zealand (£7.99) is — as you would expect — a grassy, zesty, green-fruited, dry white. Top marks at the all-girls book club.

Jurtschitsch Stein Grüner Veltliner Sonn 2009, Austria (£11.99) delivers a bracing mouthful of stone-washed, mineral citrus fruit with a sprinkle of white pepper. I am a big fan of this lightly spicy white in the winter.

Fairly light with fresh red berry fruit all the way, is the unmistakably Italian Bardolino Naiano Allegrini, 2009 (£7.99). A perfect pizza and DVD wine, if you get my drift.

At the other end of the spectrum is the richly flavoured, blackcurrant dense Viñalba Malbec Reserva, Argentina 2008 (£9.99) which is definitely a wine to sink into on these chilly winter days.

To learn more about Sarah and to sign up for her wine postcards, please go to www.wine-talk.co.uk