Life and Style

Considerable volumes of wishful thinking and even more hot air have been expended on the 'wonderful' 2012 Burgundy vintage, currently on offer. Sparing you the hyperbole and cutting to the chase, Burgundy 2012 is a good vintage in which a handful of great wines have been made by a few exceptional growers. It is not a rising tide that raises all boats in the mould of 2005 or 2010.

Gravesend man hangs himself after sickness benefits were cut

Victor Cuff had been drinking heavily before his death, inquest heard

Never mind government U-turns, the decision on plain packaging for cigarettes is the right one

Evidence from Australia indicates that uniform packs leave addicts likelier to consider kicking the habit

Couples that drink together, stay together

Couples where only one member drank heavily had a 50 per cent divorce rate; for couples where both drank heavily or neither did this rate fell to 30 per cent

Mice with the mutated gene got a bigger reward stimulus from the alcohol compared to ordinary mice

'Single fault' in one gene can lead to alcohol addiction in laboratory mice

Humans with similar variations in the same gene could also have increased risk of the disease

Diageo offers to sell Whyte & Mackay to dispel competition concerns

Diageo has offered to sell the bulk of the business with the exception of the Dalmore and Tamnavulin distilleries

The umpires and James Anderson have words following the Englishman's spat with Michael Clarke

Ashes 2013-14: Fear and loathing in Brisbane shows two teams split by acrimony

There is a clear and present danger that the Ashes series may descend into mayhem. The brutal and excellent fast bowling of Australia, led by Mitchell Johnson, has already given the series a physically intimidating dimension but evidence mounts that the teams have a fervent and mutual dislike.

Flying High: Israel Folau breaks away from Moray Low and fellow defenders to score his try

Scotland 15 Australia 21 match report: Israel Folau bursts Scotland bubble

Cooper puts Australia on the front foot from the start but the home side fight them all the way

Woolf Hall: Emma Townshend finds a new book about the author's final home irresistible - and she's not the only one

So I'm standing next to a woman in Belgravia Books (it's much friendlier and less posh than it sounds, and a tippety-top-class independent bookseller, to boot), and she's clutching this book, Virginia Woolf's Garden, to her chest.

On the agenda: Batkid; Rob Ford; Breaking Bad; All Saints reunion; Christmas gifts

Middle-class problems: Christmas presents

Anthony Rose: 'A little bit of sugar helps the medicine, whether tannin in red wine or acidity in white, go down'

I first heard of Apothic when the PR for the new California brand from Gallo asked me if I wanted a sample of a wine "fusing Old World intrigue with modern sophistication". It sounded too untrue to be good so I declined. I thought no more of it until, lo, two days later it turned up all sweet and chocolatey at Tesco's press tasting. Yum, I hear you say. Perhaps. The wine trade refers to this kind of wine as an 'entry wine', in other words, designed to appeal to newcomers to wine in the same way as, say, moscato or gewürztraminer.

Calderwood in 2010; his latest hotel has just opened in Shoreditch

Alex Calderwood: Hotelier and self-styled ‘cultural engineer’ who gave his Ace chain a distinctively unconventional and offbeat style

Alex Calderwood was the co-founder of the Ace Hotel chain, which had just opened its latest venture only six weeks ago in Shoreditch, London. His body was found in one of the rooms of that hotel; the exact cause of his death is still to be determined.

Cans of lager on supermarket shelf

Pint, pint, pint, fight: How we can help Britain's problem drinkers

Our Demos research looks at three defining areas

The Policing Minister, Damien Green, has been told numbers of banning orders have fallen

Exclusive: Police warn of problems controlling hooliganism

Fewer officers mean banning orders are harder to enforce

Despite a third of 11-15-year olds admitting to having obtained alcohol in the last month in a recent poll, prosecutions of adults buying it for them are at a quarter of the level they were in 2008

Prosecutions for under-age alcohol sales fall to quarter of 2008 level

... even though third of 11-15-year olds have been getting hold of booze

Glencore claims long, boozy City lunches are no more

It's a tradition that has thrived in London's financial districts since Hogarth wielded his brush: the four-bottle business lunch.

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Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories