Widdecombe cuddlier than McBeal, survey reveals

British drinkers would rather cuddle up to politician Ann Widdecombe than Ally McBeal, a survey has revealed.

The research, carried out by the UK office of the Wine Institute of California, asked 1000 wine drinkers who they would like to snuggle up to and enjoy a bottle of wine with. UK politician Ann Widdecombe (pictured) got a moral-boosting 4% of the votes, beating Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart, left reeling with 3%. Titanic star Kate Winslet received over a third of the male votes.

Widdecombe, 54 – who has no compunction about calling herself ugly – is dubbed ‘Doris Karloff’ by the British tabloid press. A right-winger who held many senior posts in the Conservative government, she famously described her boss, home secretary Michael Howard, as having ‘something of the night’ about him. She has little in common with Flockhart (39, 38 or 37 – she won’t reveal her date of birth), waif-like, a multi-millionaire, and firmly on the Hollywood A-list.

The nationwide study was designed to find out what wine consumers really know about their favourite tipple. John McLaren, UK Director of the institute, said, ‘The findings of this survey show clearly that people are confused by the sometimes obscure terms used about wine – there is a surprising lack of knowledge out there.’

Twenty-six percent of the respondents thought Manchester United’s French star Laurent Blanc is a grape variety, while only half knew that that Pinot Noir is an actual grape. Drinkers are also baffled by the jargon in tasting notes. Over half of those questioned found the term ‘complex’ confusing, whilst 40% and 42% found ‘elegant’ and ‘rustic’ similarly meaningless. Unsurprisingly, 62% were mystified by the description ‘smells like a wet dog.’

As for who women would like to share an intimate bottle with, pop giant Robbie Williams got women’s top vote with 25%, with BBC Sports Personality of the Year David Beckham and Prime Minister Tony Blair receiving only 4% of the votes each.

Written by Tom Chippendale19 December 2001