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.

Bill Baker: Wine merchant extraordinaire

Bill Baker, country wine merchant extraordinaire, was a rare blend of gourmet and gourmand. In his outsize pinstripe suit and trademark red braces, he was a regular and idiosyncratic fixture of the London wine tasting scene. Visible from afar, his ample figure was so well known by the wine trade that if he was nowhere to be seen at one of the London trade tastings, he was conspicuous by his absence. Yet there was a lot more to the proverbial legend in his own lunchtime than an ever-expanding girth.

Drink: 2008 uncorked

By Anthony Rose

My holiday in: Bordeaux

What I liked

Hull Kr 14 Wakefield 9: Cockayne repays Morgan's faith

Hull Kingston Rovers made the sort of start to life in the Super League that can only give them confidence for the struggles that lie ahead.

Eriksson's fun and games leave court jester Crouch feeling glum

The most famous robotics dance routine in English football was given a royal seal of approval yesterday when Peter Crouch put on an impromptu performance for Prince William during training after, he said, being "goaded" into it by his team-mates. The new president of the Football Association was most amused, although when England got down to the serious business of tactical formations, Crouch was not involved.

Sir Fred shreds Royal Bank of Scotland's final salary pension

Royal Bank of Scotland became the latest in a string of major UK companies to shut its final-salary pension scheme to new employees yesterday.

Brooke 260 Double R

Eat your heart out, Stirling Moss. A UK company is producing this hi-tech near-replica of the Ferraris and Vanwalls of the 1950s. And it's road-legal, says a breathless Sean O'Grady

Racing history for sale

The winner of the first Monaco Grand Prix is up for grabs. Simon de Burton on the incredible tale of a timeless classic

Something For The Weekend?

It has a mythical appeal as one of the world's great clarets and costs at least pounds 200 a bottle. Now it is the star of a new movie. So just what's so special about Cheval Blanc?

All along the empty, pretty lanes of Saint-Emilion, small, claret- coloured signs point the way to Chateau This and Chateau That. One chateau name is missing. No one has bothered to erect a sign to Chateau Cheval Blanc. Does an Oscar-winning actress put her number in the phone book? Does royalty advertise? You know you have arrived when you see the modest, carved sign at the entrance. Between the public road and the first of the Cheval Blanc vines, standing in gnarled rows like hunched old ladies at this time of year, there is a shallow ditch. That is all.

Wine: A case of claret and blues?

Bordeaux is in crisis. Bordeaux is enjoying a successful sales campaign for the 2003 vintage.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform