Anthony Rose

Anthony Rose writes a column about wine for The Independent.

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Anthony Rose: 'What happened to muscadet?'

Remember that thirst-quenching, bone-dry white wine from the Loire we used to knock back by? What ever did happen to muscadet? Once all the rage, it went the way of Hungarian merlot, Romanian pinot noir and prawn cocktail. Why? What happened quite simply was that muscadet was washed away by the New World tsunami of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc because it couldn't compete on flavour.

Anthony Rose: 'The best way to sell wine is on how it tastes'

It was recently said that "wine is the ultimate blind purchase; you can't even look at it properly until you've cracked open the bottle". Six years ago I would have agreed, but not any longer. In 2007, I first slotted a smart card into a brand new enomatic wine dispensing machine at The Sampler in Islington's Upper Street. Into my glass gurgled 25 centilitres of nectar, and then another, and another.

Anthony Rose: 'You could be forgiven for being confused by Virgin Wines'

If you're someone who flies Virgin Atlantic, borrows Virgin Money and signs up to Virgin Active because you're a fan of Richard Branson's brands, then Virgin Wines might surprise you. Not because there's anything wrong with the brand. But, while started by Branson, it was subsumed in 2005 under the Direct Wines umbrella.

Anthony Rose: 'Every day should be a riesling day, or every warm summer's day at least'

Many grapes have a day dedicated to them, but the Germans are – somewhat greedily – claiming the whole of July for their riesling grape. During the '31 Days of German Riesling' restaurants and independent retailers will be holding numerous tastings and events (see 31daysofgermanriesling.co.uk).

Anthony Rose: What makes a wine iconic?

If you call your own wine an icon, then it's probably not one. An icon is a wine that's earned its stripes with a proven track record of quality and longevity, recognition factor and investment value. Bordeaux's Château Lafite and d'Yquem, Burgundy's Domaine de la Romanée Conti, and Champagne's Krug are all bona fide icons.

The big chill: The best rosé and sparkling wines to take on a summer picnic

Our expert Anthony Rose reveals the bottles to suit any budget or summer event.

Anthony Rose: 'Bordeaux can delight like no other fine red'

Bordeaux hasn't got where it is today through stupidity. The biggest fine-wine region on Earth is run by shrewd businessmen with a unique mechanism for selling their wines. In essence, the châteaux entrust their sales to specialist merchants who trade them on the Bordeaux place. Which makes it even more mystifying as to why they should have so badly misjudged this year's disastrous campaign to sell the 2012 vintage. Prices were down on the absurdly overinflated 2011s, yet the gesture was too feeble to stop sales from plummeting.

Anthony Rose: 'Waitrose's 25 per cent discount is one not to be spurned'

Every so often, a supermarket takes pity on us and gives a generous wine discount. They play their cards close to their chest and details emerge only shortly beforehand with veiled threats to excommunicate any press who don't play ball. Some offers are more anticipated than others and Waitrose's 25 per cent off any six bottles or more (until this coming Tuesday) really is one not to be spurned. If you don't have a store near you, the discount also applies to any 12 bottles bought at waitrosewine.com.

Anthony Rose: 'These juicy, affordable red wines are great for a summer barbecue'

I should have learnt by now that in any attempt to pacify the rain gods, the words to be avoided are barbecue, rosé and picnic. Despite sunshine at the time of writing, it's generally business as usual, ie grey skies, by the time of publication. At least when the sun comes out you can have a few bottles ready to suit the rare occasion.

Anthony Rose: An Italian wine revival

Which wine country has the greatest capacity to confuse, irritate, reward, inspire and delight? Got it in one: Italy. It's not surprising for a country of 20 wine regions stretching from the Alps to the Mediterranean. Adding to the confusion, Wine Grapes (Allen Lane, £120) a scholarly new work co-authored by Jancis Robinson MW, tells us that Italy leads the world in the number of commercially produced native-grape varieties: 377 compared to France's 204 and Spain's 84.

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