Anthony Rose

Anthony Rose writes a column about wine for The Independent.

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Anthony Rose: Hidden gems from the south-west of France

If south-west France is as far as you can delve into La France Profonde without going astray, then Irouléguy is the wine region at the end of the rainbow. Little heard of, and even more rarely seen, this tiny little beauty spot, with only 240 hectares to its name, is tucked so far into the French Pyrenees that it almost spills into the Atlantic Ocean. Yet what it lacks in size and celebrity, it more than makes up for in the character of its wine.

Anthony Rose: 'Sake is a product with its own pedigree and culture'

I was discussing the joy of Japanese sake with a couple of wine merchants when one of them turned to me and said disparagingly "but it's made of rice, not grapes", as if that somehow made it a lesser drink.

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.

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