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.

Outlook: The real reason we pay so much for car insurance...

Outlook There's a popular narrative that holds that the only reason we pay inflated car insurance premiums is an epidemic of false whiplash injury claims generated by ambulance-chasing lawyers.

14 per cent of women over 65 consume alcohol at least five days a week

Women over 65 are drinking more regularly than those in their late teens and early 20s, ONS figures show

Women over 65 are drinking more regularly than those in their late teens and early 20s, figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest.

Trappist beers produced by Belgium’s Orval monastery

Last orders looming for Trappist beers as Belgium's band of brotherly brewers dies off

The Orval monastery – one of only eight in the world producing certified Trappist beers – now has only 12, down from 35 a few decades ago

Matthew Perry sparks furious drug debate with Peter Hitchens on Newsnight

The pair formed part of a discussion on specialist drugs courts, in which former addicts will sit as lay magistrates

Why do we get so trollied at Christmas?

The British attitude to drunkenness still baffles me, especially at this time of year

Clermont Auvergne winger Napolioni Nalaga scores in the win over Llanelli Scarlets

Llanelli Scarlets 13 Clermont Auvergne 31 match report: Lightning strike as Nalaga storms Scarlets’ citadel

Clermont remain on course for a home quarter-final with another two tries from Nalaga leading the way

Lynne Spalding was found dead in a locked stairwell in September.

Death of British woman Lynne Spalding found in US hospital stairwell linked to alcohol abuse

A coroner's report has confirmed the mother-of-two's death was linked to chronic alcohol abuse

Ethan Couch from Texas has been sentenced to ten years probation after mowing down four pedestrians while drunk

Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?

Texan teen given parole after mowing down four people while drunk – but his family is so wealthy he believed his actions had no consequences

Jean-Jacques De Gucht, of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats, spoke in favour of the proposal

Belgian Senate votes in favour of law allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children

Senators shrugged off vociferous opposition from religious groups

Review: 'Demons: our changing attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs', By Virginia Berridge (Oxford University Press, £16.99)

A table published in the Lancet in 2007 ranked substances for harmfulness, and it made headlines when it placed alcohol ahead of crack cocaine and ketamine (“Special K”, to those who enjoy administering a horse tranquiliser on themselves). Tobacco was judged to be worse than cannabis, glue and solvents, LSD and ecstasy. Bar-room philosophers all over the land almost spilled their pints at the notion that they were hard-drug users.

Source Battersea, London: Restaurant review - this is the kind of place you want to keep jealously to yourself

Ransome’s Dock is one of those names that dinged around the heads of London foodies in the 1990s as a little dream of ‘neighbourhood dining’.

James Bond's excessive drinking put him at 'high risk' of a series of alcohol-related diseases, according to experts

Licence to swill: James Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, liver disease, tremors... and impotence

BMJ takes a light-hearted look at 007's drinking habits for its Christmas edition

Last orders: has the liquid lunch had its day?

To his cost, ex-Glencore trader Andrew Kearns has found being hungover a sackable offence, but the liquid lunch shaped many a day in days gone by, says a wistful John Walsh

Nick Strangeway's favourite cocktail Spagliato, made with Campari, Carpano Antica and Prosecco

Samuel Muston: Gin. Check. Carpaccio. Check. Santa’s little helpers. Check

I am not the type of person who, when throwing a Christmas party, thinks: “Who shall I get to do  the catering?”

Last year, an average of £7.80 went on wine, beer and spirits brought from the off licence or supermarket

Stay-at-home drinking and socialising on the rise as Britons avoid paying premium of being served food or drink in pubs and bars

Going for a coffee is now the third most popular leisure outing beating attending a concert or hitting a night club, according to study

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
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