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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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain