CHEAP plonk is better for your health than vintage vino, according to the latest research.

British cardiologist Dr William McCrea has been prescribing red wine to his patients for more than a decade to ward off heart attacks and strokes.

But he has surprised wine connoisseurs by recommending cheap, new wines made from grapes grown at high altitudes, rather than the more cosseted, costlier varieties such as Spanish Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

According to Dr McCrea, these cheaper wines are exposed to higher levels of UV radiation and develop a higher concentration of healthy antioxidants – great news for penny-pinching drinkers.

However, it hasn’t put the good cardiologist off his personal red wine favourites – Pinot Noir or Shiraz from South Africa, Argentinian Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

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