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.

Let the good vines roll in New Zealand

Raymond Whitaker hits the wine trail from Hawkes Bay to Marlborough

Raise a glass to the best vineyards in the world

Oz Clarke has travelled from Bordeaux to Barossa to taste his favourite vintages. To get what a wine is about you've got to visit the place where it's made, he says

Wine: French favourites

While France's first lady was seducing the audience of Later with Jools Holland, the country itself was coming to terms with the fact that this year's wine crop will be overtaken by Italy by some 500 million bottles. However, at least one French commentator had the nous to point out that its exports were still nearly double those of Italy. Anyway, he went on, "we are responding to the needs of a market that wants to drink less but better". He would say that, but over the past few years, competition from the New World has put a much-needed boot into the Gallic derrière. The French have also had to contend with the outlawing of advertising wine on the net because of its stringent anti-alcohol laws.

British wine buffs rediscover taste for claret

Britain is rediscovering its 800 years old taste for Bordeaux wines. After a collapse in sales to the UK five years ago, exports of medium and higher quality red Bordeaux, or claret, are booming – defying the economic crisis which haunts other parts of the French wine industry.

Wine: Liquid assets

There's an old maxim in the wine trade that the best way to make a small fortune out of wine is to start with a larger one. Despite the occasional headline splash of untold riches made from fabulous rare bottles, like the 1811 Château d'Yquem which recently fetched £37,900, the mundane truth is that successful investing in wine requires a combination of caution, knowledge, experience and skill; and add a dose of luck for good measure.

The city of Bordeaux: a place of wonder

From the waterways of Bordeaux to the longest shopping street in Europe, Hannah Bills explores France's fifth largest city

Bordeaux's latest British invasion

Expats have been keeping French glasses full by tending some of the region's vineyards, says Andy Lynes

Wine:Something For The Weekend?

Wine: Best cellars

Just because you're not intending to scale K2, drive a Maserati Quattroporte or conduct the LSO any time soon doesn't mean you're not interested in mountaineering, fast cars or classical music. By the same token, argues Neil Beckett, the editor of 1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die (Cassell, £20), knowing more about the loftier peaks of wine doesn't mean it's compulsory to drink legendary vintages of Yquem, Lafite or Cristal and bankrupt yourself in the process. In developing his "life's-too-short-to-drink-bad-wine" thesis, Beckett's mouthwatering bucket list brings the sometimes intimidating subject of fine wine to life, making it instantly more digestible.

Wine: Red-hot Chile

July's first light dusting of white over the Andes signals a change of season in Chile. And with the snow comes the guarantee of irrigation for next summer's vintage from the snowmelt waters from the mountains. And thanks to the supply of mountain water, Chile isn't so crippled by drought as is the case in its New World "competitor" Australia.

Producers in the pink as 'youthful' rosé becomes a French fashion

Some French wine growers are rioting. Others are in the pink. Rosé, once the mocked poor relation of French vineyards, has overtaken white wine in volume of sales in France for the first time.

Wine: Natural selection

As discerning drinkers develop a taste for wines that are free from pesticides, supermarkets are finding more room for organic bottles on their shelves. Anthony Rose reports on the boom in biodynamic viticulture

Wine: Best of Bordeaux

I think the May issue of Wine & Spirit magazine had it about right suggesting that wine buyers in search of a bargain are best to wait for next year's French supermarket Foires aux Vins to buy their Bordeaux 2007s. I didn't attend this year's tasting circus in Bordeaux last month because the weather conditions and subsequent reports made it clear that there was little mileage for consumers to buy en primeur now. Even the normally enthusiastic UK wine trade, which stands to make easy money from sales of the new Bordeaux vintages, has been a little quiet. It's a sound enough vintage, good in parts, but only in the best of years is it worth shelling out in advance.

Paperback: Red, White and Drunk All Over, by Natalie MacLean

Like a good Beaujolais, MacLean's vinous peregrination is light, easily consumed but delivers a surprising amount. A gung-ho enthusiast who uses grape shears to snip her fringe during a Monterey harvest, MacLean draws a graphic parallel between drinking wine at a tasting and later at dinner: "It's like meeting a person in a noisy bar who seems interesting, but when you bring him home he doesn't get quieter or shut up." From decapitating champagne with a sword to the life-changing effect of Chateau Latour, MacLean reminds us that wine writing should be as pleasurable as its topic.

Robert Mondavi: Vintner whose innovations in the vineyard and the cellar transformed the California wine industry

Nothing about Robert Mondavi was small except his physical stature. As one of the driving forces of the 20th-century California wine industry, he was a towering figure with an influence that extended well beyond the United States.

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