Life and Style

Burgundy is on a roll, bordeaux a roller-coaster. In 2013, bordeaux failed to deliver a good enough vintage to make it worth buying early.

Government spends £18,000 topping up wine cellar

Almost £18,000 has been spent topping up the Government wine cellar since the General Election, it has emerged - leading to calls today that the entire collection should be sold off to raise money.

Anthony Rose: 'The history of supermarkets selling fine wines is littered with bottles left unloved on the shelf

Just as the tasting of the Bordeaux 2009 vintage switched to sales mode a couple of weeks back, Tesco was announcing the launch of a new Fine Wine range on tesco.com. This has nothing to do with Tesco's Finest range which, despite the name, is simply a clever way of marketing everyday wines. According to Tesco itself, it was to do with the return of consumer confidence, although it was notable that it coincided with Waitrose and Majestic's Bordeaux 2009 opening offers.

Traveller's guide: The Dordogne and the Lot

In the third of our six-part series produced in association with Footprint Travel Guides, Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls explore this tranquil region of south-west France

Anthony Rose: 'The silver lining of Bordeaux 2009 is the plethora of wines soon to be offered in the £10-£25 range'

Hyperbole is such a natural accomplice to each new Bordeaux vintage that the "vintage of the century" cliché is now routinely trotted out at the slightest sign that the new claret might at least be drinkable. The problem with crying wolf is that when a once-in-a-lifetime vintage does come along, how do you sort the hype from the reality and recognise its quality?

Claret with horse power: How one top French vineyard went 'green'

The vineyard favours animals in place of tractors, and nature instead of chemicals.

Hit the bottle for an alternative investment

Although the fine wine sector was affected by the economic downturn, there are profits to be made if you're willing to risk it. Chiara Cavaglieri reports

Travel Agenda: International Science Festival; Open Doors in Bordeaux; Cities exhibition

Today: Head to Edinburgh for the start of the International Science Festival. Highlights include a photo exhibition of animals in their natural habitat with a talk from photographer Steve Bloom, and a Bang Goes the Theory roadshow; to 17 April (sciencefestival.co.uk).

Size really matters: Why matching the wine glass to the grape is crucial

Kate Hilpern has her tastebuds taken by surprise

Traveller's Guide To: Wine journeys in Aquitaine

To get the full flavour of Aquitaine, explore the region’s vineyards – a chance to see the sites and pick up a few bottles along the way

Aquitaine events

* Set more or less at the meeting point of northern and southern Europe, Aquitaine’s variety of landscapes – from mountains to lush river valleys and an extensive coast – enjoy a particularly kind climate. All of which means there are celebrations based around food, culture and sport throughout the year. Head south to pretty Bayonne during Easter for the Bayonne Ham Fair (1-4 April; bayonne-tourisme.com ; free), when the marketplace by the River Nive (pictured) becomes festooned with some of France’s best pork products, preserved with the highly prized local salt. Inland in northern Aquitaine, the town of Nontron stages a most eccentric fete on 18 April. Le Carnaval des Soufflets ( soufflaculs.net ; free) is a festival of bellows, for which townsfolk dress in nightshirts and parade the main street blowing bellows at each other and into the air while singing nonsensical songs in Occitan. The tradition dates back to medieval days and symbolises purification and the explusion of bad spirits.

48 hours in Bordeaux

Exceptional wine, dramatic architecture and cultural treasures await you in this sublime riverside city

A road to the past in a dazzling region of France

Simon Calder embarks on a journey through space and time, from pre-history to the 20th century

A glass half full – or half empty?

The châteaux of Bordeaux believe their 2009 vintages could be the best in living memory. But can that save the ailing wine industry? John Lichfield tastes the evidence

Châteaux splash out – on their own wine

French scramble to prop up prices as the world's biggest trader sells stock

The wine-lover's dream – in the suburbs of Paris

The hills around the French capital were once famed for their vintages. Now one small vineyard which has survived the urban sprawl is in need of an expert to run it
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee